The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 6

Hayden Hawks

Pura Vida! The final and 6th stage of The Coastal Challenge is done!

The Coastal Challenge

Starting at Ganadito Beach and concluding at Ganadito Beach, the 36.4km final stage of the 2022 TCC was a tough one, with a substantial amount of extra kilometres over the usual victory loop of the iconic Drake Bay.

Long and endless beaches

This time, Drake Bay was reached after 10.7km, usually, this would be the start and end point.

At 21.3km, Cp2 San Josecito Beach saw the lead men all together and Giudy well out on her own.

San Josecito Beach – Hayden Hawks

Agujitas at 33.3km rewarded runner’s with a sight of the finish at Ganadito Beach.

Franco Colle and Julien Chorier

For all, it was a day to enjoy, signified by the lead men running together for much of the race, the exception coming with Erick Agüero who lost the group and trailed minutes behind.

Giudy at the waterfall crossing.

Giudy Turini ran solo, no doubt looking to get the last day done as quickly as possible. Francis Davila Palacios doing the same.

Francis Davila Palacios

Stage 6 is a mini TCC encompassing, waterfalls, rainforest, plantations, dusty fire trail, water crossings, beaches, coves and the stunning Pacific as a backdrop.

Peter van de Zon ran a great race for 2nd place

Fire roads start the day, a run in a river bed, a waterfall crossing, dirt roads with countless water passes and then finally the beach arrives. The coastline weaving in and out all the way to the line.

At the end, Hayden Hawks and Giudy Turini are the 2022 TCC champions.

The men’s podium, Hayden, Peter and Erick
2022 female champ, Giudy

The line was full of emotion as an epic journey has come to an end. The 2022 TCC was a huge success.

Paolo Gamboa Sanchez placed 3rd

OVERALL RESULTS:

  • Hayden Hawks 24:26:23
  • Peter van de Zorn 24:51:16
  • Erick Agüero 26:01:14
  • Giudy Turini 32:45:55
  • Francis Davila Palacios 35:33:26
  • Paolo Gamboa Sanchez 40:18:12
Pura Vida – TCC2022 comes to an end

Results and overall standings on webscorer.com

Follow the action as the race unfolds #TCC2022

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 5

Day 5 is a long day on The Coastal Challenge and what a day! At 42km, it is shorter than previous editions of the TCC due to a change of the finish area and camping location. This, makes the last day considerably longer and much more of a challenge than in previous years.

Runners depart camp via bus for a short bus ride to the Sierpe River and ferry across to the other side.

Cp1 Portero, 11km, is reached by gravel roads and faster running. Sábalo follows at 18km and here, the gravel road gives way to more technical and challenging terrain. There is a steep climb and descent before gravel road resumes to Cp3 Ganado. Now a final technical loop, beach section and water crossing brings stage 5 to an end at Ganadito Beach.

Peter van de Zon

Much of today’s route is considered very runnable on wide gravel roads. Great if you can run, but for many, stage 5 is a tough day with tired bodies.

Peter and Hayden, head-to-head

It may come as no surprise that once again Hayden Hawks and Peter van de Zon dictated the race from the front. The duo running together for the whole day and crossing the line in 4:20:50.

The water crossing

Erick Agüero battled hard and early in the race he held a small gap. But as the race progressed, the gap opened and Erick seemed to relax, content with his 3rd place crossing in 4:50:15.

Erick Agüero

Franco Colle finished 10-minutes with Julien Chorier in 5:00:33. Franco somehow finding form in the latter stages of the race, no doubt due to adapting to the heat.

Julien Chorier
Julien and Franco Colle

5:47:43, 6:05:35 and 6:43:42 were the women’s finishing times, the race once again taking the format of the previous days with Giudy Turini, Francis Davila Palacios and Courtney Hill finishing 1, 2 and 3.

Giudy Turini
Francis Davila Palacios

Japanese runner, Tomomi Bitoh joined the race today after opening quarantine in San Jose and then being cleared with a negative PCR test. It was a bitter sweet moment for Tomomi after excitement over a trip and race in Costa Rica, for it all to be taken away at the 11th hour. She will savour the opportunity to experience some Pura Vida and a magical part of the TCC race.

Tomomi Bitoh

Tomorrow’s stage is a loop of Drake Bay – it’s a stunning day that manages to encamps all the previous 5 days in one loop. However, in previous years, this race was often a victory loop at just over 20km… Now, the last day is a challenging 37km!

Making a splash!

Stage Results:

  • Hayden Hawks 4:20:50
  • Peter van de Zorn 4:20:50
  • Erick Agüero 4:50:15
  • Giudy Turini 5:47:43
  • Francis Davila Palacios 6:05:35
  • Courtney Hill 6:43:42

Full results at www.webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 4

Erick Agüero

Day 4 from Coronado to Palma Norte (a new finish) is a unique day – starting at sea level, the route climbs to just under 1000m in 10km and then stays high with a rollercoaster of hills dropping to just under 600m at 15km and then climbing again to 900m at 20km. From here, the runners drop to 600m at 30km and then once agin, climb to 850m before a short, sharp and very steep drop to the finish.

Hayden Hawks pushing the pace

With three aid stations, Tres Ríos at 6.1km, Guagaral at 15.5km and Donkey’s Hill at 23km, it is essential for the runner’s to ensure they have enough fluid for this tough stage. The distance 37.4km and 2414m of vertical.

Early morning had a chill and misty start and at remained that way for some time, providing the runner’s with a welcome refreshing start to the day.

Giudy Turini

The main protagonists of Hayden Hawks, Peter van de Zon, Erick Agüero and Julien Chorier marked each other over the opening 10km running side-by side. 

Eventually, Hayden Hawks decided to make a move… His motive was to build some time and a gap so that he could concede some time on the more challenging and technical terrain.

Peter chasing hard

By Donkey’s Hill he had really opened the throttle and built a huge lead over Peter who chased.

Erick Agüero

Despite the terrain and challenge, Hayden stormed his way to the finish crossing in 4:18:15. Peter battled hard but in the end, the speed of Hayden on the flat and more runnable terrain could not be matched, he reached the finish in 4:25:23.

Expansive vista

Erick Agüero once again finished 3rd once again in 4:38:27 with Julien 4th in 4:46:07.

Giudy Turini

The women’s race went to the protocol of the previous days with Giudy Turini pushing from the front, holding her place and crossing the line in 6:02:17.

Francis Davila Palacios

Francis Davila Palacios played the eternal bridesmaid, always running with a smile and crossing in  6:20:52.

Courtney Hill

Courtney Hill, once again placed 3rd in 7:17:59 and today, Jennifer Schwegler placed 4th

Tomorrow’s stage is 42km from Sierpe to Drake Bay with a new finish.

Franco Colle

Stage Results:

  • Hayden Hawks 4:18:15
  • Peter van de Zorn 4:25:23
  • Erick Agüero 4:38:27
  • Giudy Turini 6:02:17
  • Francis Davila Palacios 6:20:52
  • Courtney Hill 7:17:59
Epic vistas

Full results at www.webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 3

Hayden and Peter at Nuayaca Waterfall

Day 3 of The Coastal Challenge kicked off at 0530 this morning and what lay ahead was a tough and challenging day of hills, technical trail, waterfalls, long dusty and stony roads and beach – all intensified by Costa Rican heat and humidity.

The early trails leaving Dominical Beach take the runners into 9.7km’s of technical river bed. It’s all rock hopping and slip sliding away on the wet and greasy surface until Cp1 Barú.

Danish ultra runner, Jakob Bloch.

Nuayaca Waterfall is no doubt the highlight of the day, if not the race. The runners arrive down a small trail and the cascade greets them, they pass through and then climb up a winding trail.

From here on in, the terrain varies from rainforest, dusty access roads and technical trail. La Florida, Cp2 at 23.4km provides hydration and nutrition before the push to Cp3, Hermosa Beach and then Uvita at 42km.

Erick tries to cool down.

Now, the heat is intense and the runners are sandwich pressed between sand and sky.

Peter at the water crossing
Everyone survived…

A small technical forest section leads to a water crossing, the highway and then another trail section before road leads to a new campsite, first used in the 2021 edition. Katakolo signifies the finish.

Erick Agüero

Erick Agüero dictated the pace from the start, it comes as no surprise with his experience on the course, particularly the opening technical 10km. He was accompanied by the main protagonists, Hayden Hawks, Peter van de Zon and Julien Chorier.

Julien Chorier

At Cp2 though, Hayden and Peter had pulled away on the rollercoaster terrain and had gained a substantial 5-minute lead. Julien Chorier was now trailing the leading three and losing time.

Hermosa Beach passed and then at the water crossing, immediately after Cp4, Hayden extended a short lead over Peter; both looking strong. Erick now had lost significant time but had a huge lead over 4th, Julien.

Hayden strong and in control

At the line, Hayden had once again extended his time crossing in 5:29:16. Peter, running a solid and excellent race, crossed in 5:31:25 well ahead of the local hero, Erick who ran a time of 5:49:43.

Erick pushing to the line
Giudy was flying!

Giudy Turini once again lead from the front and never looked back.  Early in the stage, she was contending a top-10 position overall and that remained the way through most of the stage, so strong was her performance. With no immediate pressure from behind and with such a convincing lead, she is pacing herself perfectly for 2022 TCC victory.

Giudy at the final water crossing

Francis Davila Palacios once again ran strong and steady for 2nd place. Consistent in the heat and terrain, barring any problems over the next three days, her 2nd overall looks secure.

Francis Davila Palacios

Courtney Hill once again followed up a solid stage 2 with a great stage 3, however, the battle with Paolo Gamboa Sanchez, for today, was truce, the due crossed the line together, a second apart.

Paolo Gamboa Sanchez

Stage Results:

  • Hayden Hawks 5:29:16
  • Peter van de Zorn 5:31:25
  • Erick Agüero 5:49:43

  • Giudy Turini 7:39:13
  • Francis Davila Palacios 8:36:22
  • Courtney Hill/ Paolo Gamboa Sanchez 9:02:56

Results and overall standings on webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 2

It was a an 0330 wake up call this morning and an 0530 start. It may sound super early but believe me, the runners weren’t complaining! Most had been in bed before 8pm. The advantages of an early start are simple, it gives the runners a good 2-hours before the heat starts to take its toll. For Costa Rica, it was a chilly morning (relatively) as the runner’s departed straight in to a steep climb.

Today’s stage was a tough 41.3km with 1828m of vertical and 1953m of descending. 

Julien Chorier and Peter van de Zorn

Julien Chorier, Peter van de Zorn, Hayden Hawks and Erick Agüero pushed hard on the first climb and after the summit, Julien and Peter opened a small gap over the chasing duo. Leaving the trail, gravel roads lead the way to Cp1 El Brujo at 13.1km. It was a tight race up front and the more technical trail suited Peter, Erick and Julien. Erick opened a gap!

Dos Bocas, Cp2 at 23km and Eick had taken the lead with Peter 2-minutes behind and Hayden chasing 4-minutes back. Was the Costa Rican local and TCC regular about to light up the race?

By Cp3 at Hatillo, 33km, Hayden had closed the gap with Julien not far behind. It was significant marker in the race. The heat was now full strength and ahead flat beach running to Dominical and two water crossings. 

Hayden Hawks
Dominical Beach is a haven for the local fishermen.

Hayden bided his time and pulled away, it was a clever move, he had saved something for when it mattered and the gap opened up over Erick with Peter chasing.

Peter van de Zorn

At the line, Hayden had opened up several minutes and clinched another stage victory and a solid lead. Next to appear was Erick and on his heels, Peter. The due crossing the line 35-seconds apart. A stunning day’s racing.

Julien Chorier

Julien Chorier placed 4th and Daniel Herrera Montero placed 5th, flying the flag for Costa Rica.

Daniel Herrera Montero

In the women’s race Giudy Turini followed on her stage 1 victory with a convincing performance. Before Cp1 she had already built a lead, this only increased checkpoint by checkpoint, she crossed the line well ahead of 2nd and looked comfortable in the heat.

Giudy Turini

As on day-1, Francis Davila Palacios ran the day in 2nd place, but as the day progressed and the distance lengthened, the time gap to Giudy only extended. However, at the finish she still looked strong and fresh. There is still a long way to go!

Giudy at the finish.

Paola Gamboa Sanchez who placed 3rd on day-1 struggled a little today opening the door for Courtney Hill who achieved a 14-minute gap. Paola still retaining 3rd overall after 2-stages.

Francis Davila Palacios
Courtney Hill
Paola Gamboa Sanchez

Tomorrow’s stage, stage 3, is 50.5km and a tough one that runs from Dominical Beach to a new finish at Katakolo.

Stage Results:

  • Hayden Hawks 3:57:06
  • Erick Agüero 4:00:22
  • Peter van de Zorn 4:00:57

In the overall standings, Hayden has a 16-minute lead over Peter.

  • Giudy Turini 5:14:41
  • Francis Davila Palacios 5:46:35
  • Courtney Hill 6:26:08

In the overall standings, Giudy has a 37-minutes lead over Francis.

Full stage results webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 1

Hayden Hawks crossing the final river for victory.

Leaving San Jose at 0430, runners eventually arrived at Quepos and transferred to the beach for an 0920 start, the 2022 The Coastal Challenge getting underway! As always, day 1 of TCC starts late and typically it is tough… The heat and humidity is already high and there is no time to adjust. This year, temperatures were cooler and the humidity was not as intense.

The early flat miles ticked away and it was Hayden Hawks who pushed the pace. Hayden raced TCC in 2018 and with that experience, he has arrived with better preparation and heat adaptation. He meant business dictating a fast pace.

Peter van der Zon

Behind Peter van der Zon chased followed by Julien Chorier and local, Erick Agüero, a multiple TCC finisher and often on or close to the podium.

Erick Agüero

Giudy Turini dictated the women’s race and looked comfortable and relaxed, Francis Palacios chased.

Giudy Turini

Cp1 at Boca Naranjito and runner’s were already feeling the heat and the impact of the opening flat miles.

Cooling off

A dense section of rainforest and then some fast trails to cp2, Londres, saw Hayden extend his lead and notably, Erick was now in third place. 

At the third aid station, Los Campesinos, a steep climb and descent before the final river crossing allowed the gaps to open. Hayden never really attacked, he just maintained a fast pace, the cooler day allowing him to close faster than his 2018 time when racing with Tom Evans. A day 1 victory.

Peter ran a smart race with a strong second place, almost 12-minutes behind Hayden. TCC regular, Erick placed third 5-minutes later.

Giudy for the ladies was not in a race on her own, she was pushed by Francis and Paolo Gamboa Sanchez, all three finishing within a 10-minute window.

Paolo Sanchez

Notably, Tomomi Bitoh from Japan, who placed second at Marathon des Sables in October, was unable to start after a positive Covid test pre-race. Needless to say, it was sad news and while the Coronavirus situation is improving, the TCC and race team have strict protocols in place to ensure everyones safety.

Julien Chorier

Julien Chorier and Franco Colle suffered in the heat and humidity today, placing 4th and 7th respectively.

Franco Colle
  • Hayden Hawks 2:35:29
  • Peter van der Zon 2:47:13
  • Erick Agüero 2:51:59
Francis Palacios
  • Giudy Turini 3:44:15
  • Francis Palacios 3:47:28
  • Paolo Gamboa Sanchez 3:53:44

Stage 2 starts at Rafiki Lodge and concludes at Dominical Beach, 41.3km and 1828m of vertical.

Full results at www.webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge #TCC2020 – Day 6 23km

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica’s number one multi-day race concluded on Drake Bay today, a 23km loop of ‘the best’ of Costa Rica all wrapped up in a wonderful 23km.

The run manages to bring together, all that has gone before in the previous 5-days, running through rivers, crossing waterfalls, fire road, secluded coves, rainforest trails, single-track, suspension bridges and of course, wonderful empty beaches.

It was a day of fun, with all the major podium positions decided, with the exception of the women’s 3rd podium place after a stunning day 4 by Ashton Keck Keck educing the gap to 8-minutes to Abelone Lyng who suffered badly in the closing 17km of day 4.

Keck Keck pushed from the off and Lyng did not respond, the heart was willing but the body had no reserves to push and push hard. Lyng had accepted the loss of the podium place before the stage 6 start and enjoyed a victory loop of a job well done and 4th overall.

The men’s race was a loop of honour with the top-3 men staying side-by-side all the way to the line, Erick Agüero and Andy Symonds congratulating Cody Lind on an incredible 2020 victory.

“I am so happy, I gave it all on day-5 for the win and to secure the top of the podium, it has been an incredible week of such diversity”

Kaytlyn Gerbin despite taking the foot of the gas still won the last stage making it 6 out of 6.

“I trained for this thinking it would be as hard as a 100-mile race, but the multi-day format is so much harder. It’s nice to get things done in one go. To get up day-after-day and race again has been a learning curve but I have loved it.” Gerbin said on the finish. “I have raced hard and was tested but I had some reserves, you are never quite sure how hard to push. For this race you need to be an all-rounder to win as it has so much variety.”

Natalia López Arrieta once again ran a solid day, like Gerbin, she had no need to push and she finished comfortably with second place secured.

For most people, to have a podium place and then lose it would be heart breaking, but Abelone Lyng had a real sense of perspective:

“I was broken after stage 5 and I knew I could not ‘race’ the last day, but I was convinced I would finish, even if that meant crawling. I have no complaints… What is there to complain about? I am privileged to have run in Costa Rica, the start near Quepos and finish at Drake Bay. I have travelled by foot and the experiences and memories will last a lifetime – Pura Vida as the Costa Rican’s would say!”

Ashton Keck Keck had a tough last day and ran the stage of her life to secure the podium place. Her joy was tangible and she will have great memories.

Each competitor though is a champion, The Coastal Challenge is not an easy race, not at all. To finish is a huge achievement and all who received their medal should be proud. Now it is time to relax, enjoy the beach and a beer, swim in the sea, go snorkelling and enjoy the hard won rest.

Ranking Overall:

Men:

Cody Lind 22:42:33

Erick Agüero 23:01:19

Andy Symonds 23:15:49

Women:

Kaytlyn Gerbin 27:31:57

Natalia López Arrieta 29:40:34

Ashton Keck Keck 32:54:54

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The Coastal Challenge #TCC2020 – Stage 5 47km

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica’s number one multi-day race moved to stage 5 and the longest day of the race at 47km. The stage is notorious for the endless fire roads, steep technical climbs and descents, the famous boat crossing and the hot beaches that lead to the line.

Departing camp at 0430, the runners are transported to Sierpe and they then take a barge across the river allowing the runners to start at 0615 heading for the stunning Drake Bay.

The early km’s are all about running on fire roads that sap the mind and legs, race leader, Cody Lind to the race to the competition and forged ahead solo, his intentions were clear, he was going to make sure he won the race from the front!

At CP2 he had a 6-minute lead on Erick Agüero and that was extended to a greater margin after crossing the estuary by boat.

“I am hurting!” He exclaimed but he pushed on with 9km to go and a potential TCC 2020 victory secured.

Shortly after the aid station he was sick, but post race he confirmed, “It was perfect, it released the bad feelings and I could run the final km’s to the line trouble free.” Cody crossed the line in 4:35:37

Agüero was giving it his all, but obviously trying to make sure he did not blow up and lose is hard fought for 2nd place. After the boat crossing he pushed to the line finishing in 4:53:55 and in the process, barring a disaster, confirming that Lind will win the 2020 The Coastal Challenge who has a lead of 18-minute and 46-seconds.

Andy Symonds ran a solid day and finished 3rd on the stage in 5:04:21but he had a tough day with the heat… As did most runners!

Kaytlyn Gerbin controlled the race from the front pushing as hard as required to win the stage but not at a pace that would risk a blow up and potential disaster. She looked calm, relaxed and happy throughout, her 6:02:52 securing a huge margin over the competition with just one day to go!

Ashton Keck Keck who ran a solid day 1 proved to be the revelation of the day running the fire roads hard and finishing just under 12-minutes behind Gerbin. Lying in 4th place, over 1-hour behind Abelone Lyng, the question mark was; how much time could she take back?

Abelone Lyng arrived at the water crossing in 3rd place and all looked good. However, the reality was far different. Suffering from severe stomach pains, Lyng struggled through the aid station, gritted her teeth and pushed to the line. “It was just terrible, I had pain in my stomach, my legs and my back. The heat was fine but I was just shutting down.” Lyng eventually would finish the stage in 5th (7:12:54) after walking pretty much all the last 9km and in the process allowing Keck Keck to close the gap on her 3rd GC to less than 9-minutes.

“At this stage I can’t think of tomorrow. I need to hydrate and eat,” said Lyng. “Today has wiped me out, I will finish tomorrow, even if I need to crawl!”

Natalia Lòpez Arrieta finished 3rd on the stage in 6:46:44 confirming her 2nd place on GC and Viviana Piedra Solano finished 4th in 6:53:43.

Stage 6 tomorrow is the victory loop starting and concluding in Drakes Bay over 23km.

Ranking:

Men:

Cody Lind 4:35:37

Eick Agüero 4:53:55

Andy Symonds 5:04:21

Women:

Kaytlyn Gerbin 5:08:29

Natalia López Arrieta 5:33:59

Vivian Piedra Solano 6:08:23

Overall:

Men:

Cody Lind 20:31:08

Erick Agüero 20:49:55

Andy Symonds 21:04:25

Women:

Kaytlyn Gerbin 25:04:47

Natalia López Arrieta 26:59:37

Abelone Lyng 30:11:46

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The Coastal Challenge #TCC2020 – Stage 4 36.2km

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica’s number one multi-day race moved to stage 4 and the day started with some bad news, Mauricio Mendez who had been the stage winner on days 1 and 2 would not start day 4 due to a tendonitis injury sustained on day 3. Mendez had showed that he had the potential to win the race, so it was a devastating blow not only for him, but the race.

Also, as day 3 came to conclusion, news came in that Veronica Bravo and Scott Maguire had quit the race due to injury, Bravo sustaining a problem to her achilles and Maguire had a foot issue. It was sad news as both runners figured in the top-5.

It was another early start for the race as the runners had a short transfer for the stage start and the runners were set on their way at 0545.

Erick Agüero was well aware that with such a slender lead, he would need to race hard and smart to keep a hold of the race. He pushed from the off and on the steep rolling terrain to CP2, he lead Cody Lind and Andy Symonds by just seconds.

The race was on and as they traversed up and down the trails in this beautiful high plateau area, the three marked each other knowing that the race was held by a slender thread. The final descent that would drop to the final checkpoint provided an opportunity and finally Lind opened up a gap to take the stage victory with a time of 4:06:51. 

Agüero is showing true grit and fought hard for the second place ahead of Symonds, both crossing in 4:08:10 and 4:08:54.

Lind know leads the 2020 The Coastal Challenge by the slender margin of 29-seconds. Symonds is less than 3-minutes behind Agüero, this race will go down to the line!

“It was a tough day and I was feeling it towards the end of the last climb,” said Symonds. “I had dropped off Erick and Cody and then on the final descent, Cody let go, he descends really well and he opened up the gap, it is getting exciting!”

Kaytlyn Gerbin had control of the women’s race and despite her being close to Natalia López Arrieta at CP2, when she decided to put the foot down, she really opened up a gap. She crossed the line in 5:08:29, 25-minutes ahead of Arrieta.

“I loved today’s route, it was very different to the previous days with no beaches and sea and lots more trail and climbing, it was a good day!” – Kaytlyn Gerbin

Abelone Lyng recovered well from day 3 and losing time by going off course. With more trail and technical sections, it played into her skill set and she loved the day.

However, on the final descent, she moved slower than Viviana Piedra Solano who pulled back time. From the last CP it was a head-to-head race to the line. Lyng calculated the distance incorrectly thinking it was a 4km stretch to the line, when actually it was 2km. Due to the intense heat, she held back allowing Solano to cross the line in 6:08:23 and she followed in 6:10:30. Lyng’s 3rd place on the podium still very safe as she has over a 1-hour lead to 4th .

Stage 5 tomorrow is a tough day with the longest stage of the race. We can expect fireworks in the men’s race as the podium places are so close.

Ranking:

Men:

Cody Lind 4:06:51

Eick Agüero 4:08:10

Andy Symonds 4:08:54

Mauricio Mendez 5:42:36

Women:

Kaytlyn Gerbin 5:08:29

Natalia López Arrieta 5:33:59

Vivian Piedra Solano 6:08:23

Overall:

Men:

Cody Lind 15:55:31

Erick Agüero 15:56:00

Andy Symonds 16:00:03

Women:

Kaytlyn Gerbin 19:01:55

Natalia López Arrieta 20:12:52

Abelone Lyng 22:58:51

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The Coastal Challenge #TCC2020 – Stage 3 47.5km

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica’s number one multi-day race moved to stage 3 and it conformed that there are no guarantees when it comes to racing. It was a day of drama and problems as the ‘Expedition’ runners travelled 47.5km to Playa Ballena.

The iconic Nauyaca Waterfall welcomed the runners after 12km but first a technical run through a river bed was the first challenge. Local runner and past TCC participant, Erick Agüero used his local knowledge and experience to take a lead over the Scott Athletes, Cody Lind and Andy Symonds. Race leader, Mauricio Mendez followed closely behind. We were seeing the Costa Rican runner take the race on by the horns.

Equally, the women’s race had Natalia López Arrieta taking a lead over race leader, Kaytlyn Gerbin.

Behind, 3rd on GC, Abelone Lyng followed just behind Manu Vilaseca who seemed to be having a better day in adapting to the heat. Unfortunately, at the waterfall, disaster struck for Vilaseca with a broken lace system on her ‘BOA’ shoes. Luckily, one of the race team offered their own shoes as a replacement… Vilaseca could race on.

Agüero was running hard today and by checkpoint 2 he had a 6-minute lead over Lind, Symonds and Mendoza who were pursuing together. It soon became clear that Mendoza had issues by the expression on his face.

Lind and Symonds cooled over with a water pipe and left. Mendoza by contrast, sat on the ground, removed his shoes and grimaced with pain. It turned out after the race he had Tendonitis.

Arrieta and Gerbin charged ahead at the front of the women’s race but behind, course sabotage sent Vilaseca and Lyng off course for approximately 4km on very tough terrain. It was the kind of disaster that can lose a runner 45-minutes. Later, the impact was clear to see as Lyng, who would have finished 3rd woman on the stage, eventually finished a little farther back losing a chunk of unnecessary time and effort.

At Hermosa Beach and all the way to the finish line, Agüero hello off the Scott athlete charge and won the stage for a great Costa Rican victory, the result providing him the overall lead of TCC2020 by less than one minute, his overall time 11:47:50.

Lind and Symonds finished together and they now 2nd and 3rd on the overall GC with a time of 11:48:39 and 11:51:08 respectively. Unfortunately, Mendez lost a chunk of time and the overall race lead a currently a podium place. It was a disastrous day for the young Mexican runner.

“I had some discomfort in my feet from day 2 but I thought it was just tiredness, however, in the first 3-miles of stage 3 I knew my foot was not good,” Mendez said at the finish line. “I was chasing Erick with Andy and Cody but the pain was terrible. I took time out at CP2 to cool off my foot and massage it but the damage was done. Not finishing was not an option so I pushed on and finished the stage. I have spoken with the medics and I have tendonitis… So, I am unsure what stage 4 will bring?”

For the women, Gerbin caught Arrieta and applied the pressure, once again she pulled away for a third stage win in three days, she now has an overall time of 13:53:26.

Arrieta ran a strong race and finished the stage 3 with an accumulated time of 14:38:53.

Lyng, despite the run off-course still occupies the 3rd podium place with an accumulated time 16:48:21 but finished 4th on the stage (7:39:11) behind Viviana Piedra Solano.

Stage 4 tomorrow is a tough day as the runners start the day with a tough climb, they then stay high and finish the day with a descent to Palmar Sur, the distance 36.2km. The Adventure race will cover 16.5km.

Ranking:

Men:

Erick Agüero 4:59:39 – Leader on GC

Andy Symonds/ Cody Lind 5:03:14

Mauricio Mendez 5:42:36

Women:

Kaytlyn Gerbin 6:01:21 – Leader on GC

Natalia López Arrieta 6:22:18

Vivian Piedra Solano 7:17:03

Please support this website. I believe everyone deserves to read quality, independent and factual articles – that’s why this website is open to all. Free press has never been so vital. I hope I can keep providing independent articles with your help. Any contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to help finance regular content. Please support me on Patreon HERE.