The Coastal Challenge #TCC2023 Preview

Countdown to the 2023 ‘The Coastal Challenge’ begins and today, we announce the elite line-up that will travel to Costa Rica to experience six days, 230.5km of racing and 9543m of vertical gain.

The ultimate Costa Rican multi-day adventure hugs the coastline of the tropical Pacific, weaving in and out of the Talamancas; a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of this Central American country. An ever-changing terrain challenges each participant, from wide, dusty and runnable fire trails to dense and muddy mountain trails. River crossings, boulders, swim through rivers, pass under waterfalls, survive long and relentless beaches and finally finish in the incredible Corcovado National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site with a stunning final loop around Drake Bay before departing for their journeys home via speedboat.

TOP WOMEN

UTMB 2022 champion Katie Schide (The North Face) is no stranger to the challenges of distance or terrain. In recent years she has shot to fame with a string of high profile results with victories at Mont Blanc 90km, Val d’Aran by UTMB, MIUT 85km and of course, the most recent, UTMB. With results that date back to 2025, Katie is the ‘one-to-watch’ at TCC 2023.

“I’m very excited to explore Costa Rica on foot, to share a big week with so many other runners, and to challenge myself in a new place!”

Swedish athlete, Mimmi Kotka (La Sportiva) is excited to leave a cold and wintry Scandinavia to join the TCC line up. Victory at CCC in 2016 made Mimmi a star and since that start, she has topped the podium at Gran Trail Courmayer, Marathon du Mont Blanc, TDS, MIUT and recently, Lavaredo.

“Costa Rica is one of my bucket list destinations and the possibility to go there and run a stage race at the same time; a perfect combo! I have never done a multi stage race and this is also something that excites me. New experience, a new place and a new race format.”

Tomomi Bitoh joined the TCC line-up in 2022 but unfortunately contracted Coronavirus in the days before the race started. Once clear, she did join the race for a couple of stage but there and then, the Japanese athlete confirmed she would toe the line in 2023.

“I was able to run through the very beautiful ocean at TCC2022 but I only experienced a small part of the route. I’ll be running through it again this year, enjoying the scenery and appreciating the full point-to-point journey that TCC brings.”

TOP MEN

Peter van der Zon (Hoka) is no stranger to Costa Rica or TCC. He toed the line in 2022 and placed 2nd to an inform Hayden Hawks. With experience and now an understanding of the route, the conditions and what it takes to win, Peter will no doubt be returning looking for the top spot come Drake Bay and the conclusion of the 2023 race. He has recently placed 7th at Mozart 100 and won Istria by UTMB.

“I am looking forward to going back to TCC, the racing was hard but it felt like a big family adventure and of course i want to try to be number one this time. But seeing the competition I am up against, that will not be easy!”

Didrik Hermansen (Hoka) has been an ever-present on the ultra scene dating back to 2010. A breakthrough performance with victory at Lavaredo in 2015 paved a way to victory at Transgrancanaria and a 2nd place at Western States. Didrik is known for his fast pace and for sure will be one-to-watch at the start line in Quepos.

“Costa Rica looks so amazing. I have never run in that area and be able to combine running in a beautiful terrain over several days at new locations seems awesome. I will run the World Championships in Thailand this November, the climate will quite similar so that will be a good benchmark what to do and what to use come February 2023.”

Dani Jung (Scarpa) in recent years has gained attention due to a string of high profile results, victory at Raid de la Reunion and 4th at Hardrock 100. But Dani has been ticking of impressive results for many years, particularly in the skyrunning calendar with races such as Mega Ultraskymarathon, Hamperokken Skyrace, Royal Ultra Sky Marathon and USM.  The distance of TCC will not intimidate this Italian, however, a multi-day format is very different to one long race.

Sebastian Krogvig (Dynafit) heads up a Norwegian double act with Didrik. The duo will also be racing at the World Championships in Chiang Mai, so, as Didrik mentioned, they will both get an invaluable ‘heads-up’ on racing in heat and humidity ahead of TCC in February 2023. Sebastian had a breakthrough season in 2021 with 3rd at Lavaredo and victory at TDS during UTMB week. Recently he placed 2nd at Trail 100 Andorra by UTMB.

“I heard about TCC many years ago, I think first from the book “Running beyond” by you! TCC has always grabbed my attention, February is early in the year, so, there are not many races. For me, it will be a challenge, I’m usually home skiing in Norwegian winter and in 2023 I will be in an excotic race in the Jungle – it’s exciting! The landscapes and nature looks spectacular! The trails look challenging and fun, a perfect mix of racing and adventure.”

THE RACE

  • Stage 1 34.6km 1018m of vert and 886m of descent
  • Stage 2 39.1km 1898m of vert and 1984m of descent
  • Stage 3 47.4km 1781m of vert and 1736m of descent
  • Stage 4 37.1km 2466m of vert and 2424m of descent
  • Stage 5 49.8km 1767m of vert and 1770m of descent
  • Stage 6 22.5km 613m of vert and 613m of descent

Total 230.5km

Vertical 9543m

Descent 9413m

Stage 1

It’s a tough day! Runners depart San Jose early morning (around 0530) for a 3-hour drive to Playa Del Rey, Quepos. It’s the only day that the race starts late and ‘in the sun!’. It’s the toughest day of the race, not because of the terrain or distance, but because of the time of day! The runners are fresh and feel great. That is until about 10km and then they realise the heat and humidity is relentless. It’s a day for caution! The 34.6km is very runnable with little vertical and technicality, it welcomes the runners to Costa Rica.

Stage 2

From here on in, it is an early breakfast, around 0400, the race starts with the arrival of the sun! The only way is up from the start with a tough and challenging climb. It’s a tough day with an abundance of climbing and descending and a final tough flat stretch on the beach, just as the heat takes hold.

Stage 3

It is basically 25km of climbing topping out at 800m followed by a drop to sea and a final kick in the tail before the arrival at camp. For many, this is a key day and maybe one of the most spectacular.

Stage 4

It’s another tough start to the day with a relentless climb, but once at 900m the route is a roller coaster of relentless small climbs and descents, often littered with technical sections, rain forest, river crossings and boulders. At 30km, it’s a short drop to the line and the finish at 37.1km.

Stage 5

The long day but what a beauty! This route was tweaked a couple of years ago and now has become iconic with tough trails, plenty of climbing, sandy beaches and yes, even a boat trip. The finish at Drake Bay is iconic.

Stage 6

The victory lap! For many, this stage is the most beautiful and memorable. In just over 20km, the route manages to include a little of all that has gone before. It’s a stage of fun and challenges and one that concludes on the beach as a 2018 medal is placed over your head – job done!

“The Coastal Challenge was lucky to continue through the pandemic, of course we had restricted fields with 2022 signifying a return to normal. TCC is a unique race and one that we are passionate about. We created this race to show of Costa Rica and this beautiful coastline. The race travels in and out of the stunning coastal mountain range via dense forest trails, river crossings, waterfalls, long stretches of golden beaches backed by palm trees, dusty access roads, high ridges and open expansive plains. At times technical, the combination of so many challenging elements are only intensified by heat and high humidity that slowly but surely reduces even the strongest competitors to exhausted shells by the arrival of the finish line.”

Rodrigo Carazo, RD

*****

#tcc2023

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Episode 231 – Tom Evans and Shane Ohly

Episode 231 of Talk Ultra has a chat with Tom Evans after his 3rd place at UTMB. Shane Ohly tells us about ‘Classic Rock’ and Speedgoat co-hosts and tells us about his UTMB.

Hypothermia – Be Prepared HERE

Mandatory Kit HERE

Goal Setting for a Multi-Day Here

Pirin Extreme HERE

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Hoka Tecton X Here

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Tom Evans pre-UTMB interview HERE

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Hoka Tecton X Shoe Review

©iancorless

Here I am again, writing about and reviewing ‘another’ Hoka shoe!

It’s kinda weird and I will hold my hands up and admit, Hoka have really got me interested in their shoes again. It all started with the Torrent 2 – a shoe that I absolutely love, it is one of my ‘go to’ shoes and I am now on my fifth pair.

The Torrent 2 tempted me to the Zinal, and yes, I love the Zinal.

And now, the Tecton X.

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There is a pattern here and I admit, I am still not a fan of ‘too’ much cushioning and ‘too’ much stack height, BUT, the Torrent, Zinal and now the Tecton X firmly sit at what is now the more ‘normal’ end of cushioned shoes.

Image ©Hoka

The Tecton X has two carbon fibre plates that run parallel in the shoe (see photo above) designed to propel and push through the propulsive phase. I must admit, up to now, I have not been impressed with shoes I have tested that contain a carbon (or similar) plate. The exception being the Scarpa Goldengate Kima which is superb.

Ultimately, the addition of a plate, and I don’t mean rock plate, but carbon or similar has just added too much weight and stiffness, resulting in a lackluster and boring run.

The Tecton X is most certainly addressing this with two thin strips in contrast to one, or two, larger plates as often used in other shoes.

THE SHOE

X in the outsole for the Tecton X ©iancorless

On first impressions, the Tecton X has the impression of a Torrent 2 and Zinal merged together. This for me is a good thing!

Neutral with a 5mm drop, the Tecton X ticks the boxes. Drop on the Torrent 2 and Zinal is also 5mm. I make the cushioning 28mm front and 33mm at the rear. NOTE – The women’s shoe is 27/31mm with 4mm drop.

S, V and C ©iancorless

Once again, I am confused with the scribble on the side of the shoe:

  • S36.26
  • V701
  • C003

C’mon Hoka, what does this ‘really’ mean. S = Spring. V= Volume and C? The C is the version of carbon plate, so, in the Tecton X that is 003. In other models, the Zinal for example, the stats were: S32x19|V490|W242 (w being the weight.)

Here in the Tecton X we have: S36x26|V701|C003

Volume at 701cm³ made up of 2 different materials. ©iancorless

Spring measurement is, ‘Curvature of the shoe, measuring how high the heel and toe are off the ground.’ Basically, it is the ‘rocker’ effect. So, for the Tecton X, this means 36mm and 26mm. Don’t get confused here with drop, this does not mean a 10mm drop! But what does it ‘really’ mean?

Volume relates to the total amount of foam (cm³) in the midsole. So here in the Tecton X there is 701, considerably more than the Zinal at 490 and the Torrent 2 at 395.

I wrote in my Zinal review:

“One would assume that the higher the volume number, the more cushioned or plush the shoe would be, but that is not the case. Here in the ZINAL, the shoe has a lower profile keeping you, the runner, closer to the ground and the cushioning is firmer to provide a more efficient and speedier propulsion in the transition phase. When I wrote about the Torrent 2, the thing I liked and others liked was a firmer ride; less Hoka like, by that I mean less plush and bouncy. Here in the ZINAL that is taken one step farther and the ride is firmer. So, it’s fair to assume that plush ride Hoka fans will find the ZINAL less appealing. Whereas, by contrast, runners who prefer a more conventional shoe who have wanted to try Hoka, will find the ZINAL appealing.”

So, what does that mean for the Tecton X and the 701-volume figure?

Like the Torrent 2 and Zinal, the Tecton X uses dual-density PROFLY cushioning; Hoka blend soft and responsive foams to provide cushioning and excellent energy return. With the addition of the carbon fibre and increased volume (701) the Tecton X is ‘in theory’ faster and more responsive. It is!

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The upper is mesh, extremely comfortable and breathable.

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There is a protective toe rand which works well, it’s simple and not over engineered.

With a sock like fit, the Tecton X has great foot hold and comfort.

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Lacing is via 7 eyelets and the optional 8th eyelet should you require to lock lace or similar. Hoka call this Ghillie lacing, and I had to look it up? “The trend on this shoe, Ghillie Ties. At its origin, Ghillies referred to specially designed shoes used in Irish dance, notable for their soft and supple build featuring crisscross laces across the top of the foot for flexible movement. Now, Ghillies is a laces trend sweeping across the US.”

Vibram Litebase ©iancorless

Like the Zinal, Tecton X uses Vibram Megagrip Litebase with 4mm lugs. Note, there is no outsole in the middle of the shoe. The outsole is zonal, front, and rear – this helps reduce weight.

The Tecton X is lower profile, keeping the runner lower to the ground with firmer cushioning and a more responsive ride.

IN USE

©iancorless

Fit is great and the sock like fit gives a secure hold of the foot without the need to lock lace. Fit is true to size, I am EU44/ UK9.5 and these fit perfect. Just like my Torrent 2 and Zinal. However, the fit or feel is not the same… The Tecton X fits like the Zinal around the bridge of the foot and the toe box is wider, a 3.5 on a scale of 1-5, 1 being narrow and 5 being wide.

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I was surprised how cushioned the shoe felt just standing and in comparison, to the Zinal, they felt higher off the ground. Despite the two carbon strips, flex behind the metatarsals was ok, obviously not bendy, and flexible, but certainly acceptable, especially in comparison to other shoes with inserts.

Weight for my EU44/ UK9.5 was a crazy 269g – light for a shoe like this.

The rocker is definitely noticeable and maybe more so due to the carbon plates. It’s a pleasant feel and certainly you can see, even just by walking, how the rocker combined with the plates will propel you forward.

©iancorless

Heel box is plush and secure.

I have thrown a mixture of terrain at the Tecton X, road, gravel path, single-track, forest trail littered with tree roots, rocks, and many obstacles. I have also run in wet and dry conditions.

On the road, the shoe performs well, and I was happy with the feel for the ground. Although this shoe has more volume it has great responsiveness and cushioning. The cushioning is not bouncy/ marshmallow like, it’s just cushioned… Do you know what I mean?

Gravel trail and all good. With more miles, I could feel the shoe getting better and I was allowing myself to notice how the propulsive phase of the shoe was helping me move forward. If I increased the pace and cadence, this propulsion increased – a benefit of the carbon!

I will say now, this is without doubt the best trail shoe with carbon inserts I have tried.

The shoe feels like a normal shoe. So, although the carbon is there, I am not thinking it is there. A problem with all the other shoes I have tested. Too much weight, too much stiffness, no feel for the ground, lacking life – these points do not apply with the Tecton X – a huge plus.

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Running downhill, I intentionally struck with the heel and there was a very definite compression in the cushioning and return in energy. Switching to mid or forefoot and once you get the rocker rolling you forward and the carbon propelling you, the benefits of the Tecton X are noticeable. I am not sure I have the fitness to maximise this, but it is noticeable.

©iancorless

There is great comfort in the shoe. You feel protected and cushioned without losing a feel for what is happening around you and the combination of dual foam in the Profly, along with the carbon offers responsiveness and protection. I was surprised that the Tecton X felt this good.

On single track I felt confident and happy that the shoe would do the job and it’s only when I moved into some thicker mud that the 4mm lugs on the outsole started to lose grip – no surprises with such a modest outsole. The Vibram Litaebase Megagrip was excellent on dry rock and most wet rock. It did struggle a little when the rock had a nice white or green layer of extra trouble to confuse and irritate the outsole, but in fairness, many shoes struggle to grip here. However, as much I like this Vibram Megagrip I am perplexed that Hoka decide NOT to put the Litebase the full length of the shoe. I know it is to safe weight, but, when on trail, running on rocks, standing on tree routes, traversing gravel or whatever, the middle of the outsole is often a key contact point, we can’t always use the heel or forefoot. I noticed this especially on tree roots when I am pretty much always using the middle of the outsole and of course, I had minimum traction with the Tecton X – it makes no sense to me! It’s the same for the Zinal, maybe I am asking too much of this type of shoe and I should accept that it should be used on more groomed trail and technical trail is for another shoe, like the Torrent 2 that has a full and more aggressive outsole.

There are many similarities to the Zinal here and if I was to explain it in simple terms, the Tecton X is a beefed-up version of the Zinal with carbon inserts. The noticeable difference would be in the structure of the Profly and the volume difference in that cushioning. The additional stack height of the Tecton X is compensated for with a wide footprint (90mm at the rear and 112mm at the front) and this helps balance the shoe, particularly on more technical trail. The cushioning is not soft and squidgy but is protective and this works well on trail. There is always a risk of roll and additional stress in a shoe with more stack but the Tecton X does a great job of reducing this; it’s not perfect though.

A comfortable shoe, with excellent protection and comfort, however, for me, the lower stack height, structure and full out outsole of the Torrent 2 wins out. The Torrent 2 has better grip, greater control on technical trail and a more ‘connected’ feeling for the ground. But having said that, I’d have no issues lacing up a Tecton X any day and I do. I find the mix and balance between the Torrent, Zinal and Tecton perfect. Although they are three separate shoes, they feel connected.

The Tecton X comes in to its own USP when on less technical and groomed trail. For example, flowing single-track with less obstacles, gravel roads and so on. Here the shoe starts to gain from increased cadence and that helps the carbon propel you forward, the more you run, the more you a propelled forward. A great shoe for say Western States (or similar)? It’s lightweight too, Hoka do this so well. Comparing to the horrendous inov-8 Trailfly G300 which weighs over 100g more per shoe for equal size. It’s fair to say that with a high price, the carbon technology and the Vibram Litebase, the Tecton X is more of a ‘special’ shoe and for many, maybe a shoe for race day. But it easily could be an everyday shoe due to its comfort and protection, it is even a great road-to-trail shoe, but I am not sure how long the Litebase outsole would last on the road? The upper is very breathable and certainly helps reduce overheating, downside, they may run a little too cool in winter. 

©iancorless

CONCLUSION

Tecton X for me, is the first trail shoe with carbon inserts that I have really enjoyed running in. The shoe offers protection, comfort, stability and great propulsion/ speed in a very good-looking shoe. It’s pricey (£175+/-) but currently, all shoes are increasing in price and if it has ‘new’ technology such as carbon, the price goes up. It’s a shoe for trail that is less technical and without doubt, it has the potential to be faster than other shoes. If you run in Hoka Speedgoat, the Tecton X would be a great shoe to place alongside and alternate: Use the Speedgoat for more technical and challenging trail and the Tecton X for faster/ groomed trail.

For me though, the Tecton X has just too much stack height, an equal problem with the Speedgoat. It’s a me thing and that is okay. Therefore the Torrent 2 wins out for me, Torrent 2 is also great value at £115.

So, while the Tecton X / Speedgoat combination would be ideal for a true Hoka user, for me, I would go Torrent 2 / Zinal (£140.) I just wish Hoka would put the Vibram Megagrip (as on the Speedgoat) on the Torrent 2.

Finally, The Tecton X is a great shoe and certainly a great addition to a shoe rotation for those specific runs when speed, comfort and extra propulsion is required. Recommended.

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Episode 225 – Michael Wardian and Michael Jones

Episode 225 of Talk Ultra has an in-depth interview with Michael Wardian after his epic run across America. We also speak with Ultra Trail Snowdia by UTMB race director, Michael Jones. Speedgoat co-hosts.

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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

Follow the action as the race unfolds #TCC2022

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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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