Everest Trail Race – Arrival Kathmandu

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Image gallery and image sales available HERE

It’s a shock to the system, 16-hours of travel and suddenly the noise, the chaos and the colour of Kathmandu. It’s an incredible and frantic explosion on the senses after isolated seclusion of a plane.

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Toot toot, beeeeep, honk honk; car horn after car horn provide a soundtrack to our arrival and amongst this noise frenzy a gentle layer of permanent dust circulates. You look around, faces and colour everywhere. Reds, blues, greens, cyan, and magenta it’s just incredible. Weary eyes through lack of sleep flick open and stay there allowing everything to soak in.

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‘Namaste’ welcome to Nepal and I am encircled with a garland of orange flowers from a gleaming local. I have been in Nepal 5-minutes and I am already excited at the prospects of what lie ahead.

It’s not far, but far enough to get a taste of the life, the character and the passions of Kathmandu. Moving through the streets in a bus that feels as though it is from another time, our short journey to Hotel Shanker is soon over and we are welcomed to our base for the next two days by the team members of the ETR,

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Sipping tea in our plush green surroundings while the sun beats down and the contrast between what is outside the gates and what is enclosed within them has never been more apparent.

I need to move, I need to go out and I need to explore. I need to get a feel for the place I am in and I am just desperate to take images. Pleasantries over, I go to my room, shower and leave. It’s a quick turnaround and within minutes I am walking a long dusty and unfinished road.

It’s a paradise. I love to capture life as it happens, raw, uncensored and naked. The harshness of what I see is often softened by a beaming smile or a splash of colour.  The car horn symphony continues and minutes later I don’t even notice it.

A man selling apples, a girl begging, her friends a goat and a chicken while her little brother crawls around the floor in rags for clothes.

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I am in my element. While others relax and catch up on lost sleep, I am wired.

Kathmandu is the capital and largest urban agglomerate of Nepal. Kathmandu is the gateway and it serves as a nerve center for tourism and as such, the variety of services and culture on offer is wide.

Rich in history, most of Kathmandu’s people follow Hinduism and many others follow Buddhism. It is a cosmopolitan melting pot and English is widely spoken.

Everest Trail Race ©iancorless.com

As I walk, flowers (Rangoli) adorn many shops/ homes, pavements are coloured with paints or powders and everyone is in a festive mood. It’s a very important time of the year. A religious festival is taking place.’Tihar’ also known as Deepawali in terai region of Nepal is a five-day-long Hindu and Buddhist festival celebrated in Nepal which comes soon after Dashain. Tihar means the festival of lights, where many candles are lit both inside and outside the houses to make it bright at night. The five-day festival is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods, but also to the animals like crow, cow and dog, who maintain an intense relationship with the humans. People make things outside of their house, called “Rangoli” in Nepali & Hindi, to make their Home look attractive & beautiful at night. (from ©Wikipedia)

Everest Trail Race ©iancorless.com

Darkness soon arrives and with it, time to relax. The evening will provide everyone with an opportunity to get together and discuss the up and coming adventure.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, will be a day of exploring. I can’t wait, And just think, I haven’t even had a glimpse of the mountains, peaks or trails yet.

The Coastal Challenge – Day 6

Stage 6 Drake Beach to Drake Beach


The last stage of any multistage race is always going to have a party atmosphere. For many runners, six tough days in Costa Rica comes to end. For others, some sadness that one of the most incredible journeys they have experienced comes to an end.


A later start of 0715 allowed the runners some additional sleep. No change for me. I was out on the course at 0500 with the race team to mark the course. After just a couple of km’s I stopped on the river section. Here the participants had to run several km’s straight down. It was always going to be a great photo opportunity.



My plan today was to run the whole stage capturing as many images in as many locations as the race unfolded. Once the lead lady caught me, I would then run in to the finish with her, leap frogging her to allow for as many photos as possible.


Today’s course? I N C R E D I B L E. Wow, it was all that I had come to expect of South America and Costa Rica. In just 23.7 km’s it managed to encompass everything from the previous five stages and then add more… a long run down the river was followed by a short technical climb and then a beautiful waterfall. From here the course slowly climbed up through rainforest and then we circumnavigated our way back to the coastline to make our journey back to Drake beach by running along beaches, through rocky coves, forest and then the finish line on the beach. It was a beautiful course, echoed in the words of Marcelo Jimenez Roqhuett ( from Cartago, Costa Rica)

“It was hard today but inspirational. We are tired and weak at this stage of the race. Every time you reach you find more energy to carry because the surroundings are so beautiful. I forgot my pains today and had so much fun on the course. Pura Vida”


In reality the overall top 3 in the men’s and ladies categories was not going to change today. So, if they wanted they could kick back and enjoy the stage. I am not really sure Dave James knows how to kick back… either that or he is so quick that his ‘kick back’ is way faster than anyone else.


In the early stages when he ran to me he was smiling. Dave’s stomach issues of the previous day had gone. Behind Ismael was chasing and then the usual suspects, Jose and Henry. It’s worth pointing out that on this stage many of the ‘race staff’ take part too, so you often get some fresh-legged runner mixing it up at the front.


I waited till about ten runners came through and then ran with them. It was tough going with the water level getting above waist height in places. Lead lady Gemma Slaughter was obviously kicking back a little and planned to enjoy this stage to the max… she was whoop whooping as she ran, keen to maximize the last day.


The waterfall section certainly added some difficulty as tired legs tried to navigate rocks and slippery surfaces. Race staff helped out as and when required. I moved on ahead running quite hard to gain an advantage of the runners behind me. Now running up forest trails surrounded by lush vegetation the trail moved in and out of shade. The canopy makes the running temperature so much more preferable.


Then some gravel road with a couple of water crossings before finally making the first beach section. The remainder of the run now was all about weaving in and out of coves. Soft sand allowing our feet to sink before the next stride is made. At all times lush green vegetation lines the beach to our right. On the left the waves lap the beach making that wonderful sound.


I keep leap frogging runners all the way back to the finish but ultimately always caching back up to Gemma.


Any opportunity on the beach to dip in the water and cool off is taken. Not sure if finally everyone is starting to acclimatize but certainly the heat seems less brutal today. Our hydration and sweat rate contradicts this.


The midway feed station arrives and it’s welcome. A liter of liquid does not last long out here! Back on the trail a small climb awaits. I run ahead, get a vantage point, and capture some images and then chase.

Two Scarlet Macaw are heard. We stop, look up and see these two magnificent birds in the canopy. Wow. Flashes of red and yellow and that noise… it’s quite special.


After several more coves the finish straight awaits. Just a hundred meters or so down the final stretch of beach. It’s an emotional moment for every participant. Six grueling and beautiful days in the Costa Rican heat and humidity come to an end. The local cheers, the Coastal Challenge crew applaud and whoop whoop. Every runner is a winner on a day like this. All races have a top 3 but it makes no difference today. The line today is all about the experience; the friends that have been made, the suffering, the high points, the low points, the struggles, the views, the scenery and ultimately the memories.



The Coastal Challenge has tested every participant in so many ways. For many the experience was considerably harder than they had initially anticipated but the mind is a wonderful thing. When the legs won’t work, the mind can take over and will you to the finish. Many participants have had to dig deep multiple times to conquer the terrain and humidity that has been placed in front of them.

Only last night, at the end of stage 5 one runner battled with fatigue, exhaustion and darkness to make the finish line. As the final meters of the course lay ahead of her she received a standing ovation from every member of the race team and every other participant. Ultimately, these runners are the heroes and the story of The Coastal Challenge. It’s about the battle within that makes the medal around the neck that so much more rewarding.

A full selection of stage 6 images are available HERE

Pura Vida!

Stage Results:


  1. Dave James 2:17
  2. Ismael Dris 2:29
  3. Rob Harsh 2:43


  1. Gemma Slaughter 3:09
  2. Angela Meyer 3:35
  3. Irene Hale 3:35


MEN: 1. David James, USA (26:54) 2. Ismael Dris, España, Equipo Trail (29:17) 3. José López, Costa Rica, Talamanca Health Center (32:59)
LADIES: 1. Gemma Slaughter, Canada, imagine1day, (39:42) 2. Angela Meyer, USA (41:32) 3. Irene Hale, USA (41:38)

The Coastal Challenge – Day 3


Dominical Beach to Ventenanas Beach, 48km

Ants, ants everywhere! But hey, that’s camping right? These little fellas are small but they bite! I made the big mistake of leaving my bag open… it turned into a little ‘night club’ for the little critters. So, 0330 this morning as my alarm went off was all about getting rid of the darn things before I could do anything.

The camp is a buzz early morning. Anticipation for a new day, nerves of what lies ahead and tired bodies ‘testing’ quads and calf’s to see if they will function today. Yesterday saw four drops and several people move down from the Expedition category to the shorter, Adventure category.


I left at 0500 to arrive at a trailhead and then I had a 4-5km run in along the race route to the Nauyaca Waterfalls… impressive! I had to run the trail with a head torch. It was thick, deep, slippery clay and with reduced visibility one could say it was fun!

TCC stg 3

Today’s route, the longest so far, had the first imposed cut offs, 7 hours at CP2 and 9 hours at CP3.

The route had a real mix of terrain today. Dense forest, waterfalls, river crossings, and a very long beach section that would be taken in the heat of the day. Many of the runners had some worries of what would lie ahead.


At 0545, with the rising of the sun, the ‘gun’ sounded and they were off. We anticipated the first runner at the waterfalls at approximately 0700. Dave James arrived on the dot… the stage 2 decision to run with Ismael was not being applied today. He arrived looking sharp, fast and focused. He navigating the crossing quickly and was up the trail in a flash. He later told me that he had worked out from the previous day that Ismael was not as good on the ‘ups’, so, he decided to push hard early, hold a gap and then try to beat his own CR for the stage.

iancorless.comP1060084 It was over 10 minutes later before Ismael Dris arrived looking less comfortable. He was more thoughtful with his foot placing’s and in contrast to Dave James you could see him loosing fractions of time with each foot strike.


Because the waterfall section was so early in the stage I stayed to see all the runners through. I was rewarded to see the sun rise above the falls and provide us with some of the most remarkable light.


Rob Harsh from Boulder, Colorado gave me an insight into the day.

How was the early section from the start to the waterfall?

 “I started easy, very comfortable. It was mostly double track. It was nice and cool, Loads of sounds from the forest. Under foot the terrain was rocky, rough and hard”

And then you arrived at the waterfall; tell me what that was like?

“Awesome, one of the best I have seen. I jumped in too cool down but I wanted to savor the moment. It felt like healing water”

From the waterfall you had to climb up to the next checkpoint?

“Yes, really pretty. Dense rainforest. Green, dark and mossy. Loved it! Then it opened up and we ran a country road”

That road lead to the first high point, did you get good views?

“Great views, rolling hills and the forest in the distance. We could also see the next climb but temperatures at this stage were still cool”

And the climb to the second and final summit?

“It was long and plenty of bushwhack. That’s what I want though… it was hard. The vines grabbed our feet. I was alone for this section. It was great to listen to the sounds, the descent was brutal. Really steep in sections. It shattered your muscles. I was glad to see the beach”

The beach… that was some long hot beach hey?

“I probably ran three quarters of the beach. But it was really hot water. It was hotter than running at Badwater…” really, hotter than Badwater? “Yeah, the humidity down here is just sapping. It is unbearable. You have to pay so much attention to hydration”

Did you take a dip at the end of the beach?

“For sure, it felt like a spa. The suffering ebbed away as we soaked”

And then you had a short and some dense forest to the road?

“Yep, super dense. Lots of wildlife and you had to almost cut your way through”

How did you feel on the final 4km road section?

“Ecstatic, for the first time that section was shorter than predicted. The finish was a welcome sight. It was a great day”

How do you feel for tomorrow, it’s a shorter day but more climbing?

“I think I have my groove now. I am sore, tired but I have no feet problems. Gonna stay steady and enjoy the scenery and hopefully enjoy the finish”


From the waterfall, I ran back to the car and then went to the start of the Adventure Race (and CP3 for the Expedition).




I now ran the entire Adventure section capturing images of runners as they progressed along the Playa Hermosa and then Playa Uvita. It was now mid morning and the heat was beating down. It was really hard work. At the end I waited in the shade to capture Dave James and Ismael as they ran towards me. Dave arrived still looking incredibly strong. He had gone off course and was really frustrated but his lead was secure. However, id pre race objective of maybe setting a new CR was gone. After the race I asked what happened “Some of the course markings had been moved which is very unusual for this race. I wasted time finding my way back to the route. These things happen but I was feeling really good”


His lead was secure; Ismael was nearly 30 minutes behind.


At the finish weary and tired runners arrived in dribs and drabs expressing the satisfaction of having endured a tough but beautiful day in Costa Rica.


Tents were pitched and food was consumed. Our campsite today was next to the beach and as the sun set, we had the treat of Humpback Whales swimming close to the shore.


What a day! Pura Vida.



  • Dave James
  • Ismael Dris
  • Henry Monestel
  • Angela Mayer
  • Irene Hay
  • Trisha Perez

Times to follow (apologies)

Overall Results at the end of stage 2:


  • D James 7:57
  • I Dris 8:43
  • H Monestel 10:09


  • T Peres 12:03
  • I Hale 12:40
  • S White 12:49

A selection of images from the day can be viewed HERE

Day 4 is another tough stage with a tough climb and then a series of peaks at altitude and then a VERY steep descent.

TCC stg 4

The Coastal Challenge – Oxygen


December 20th, 2012

Question“Ian, are you free the first 10 days of February?”

Answer “I leave Spain today and I am back in the UK late tonight. I have a busy morning on Saturday and I have some interviews to do Saturday afternoon but I will be free around midday to chat if you are? Alternatively drop me an email. Hope you are well? February should be okay, lets discuss.”

Reply “Great, so you can go to Costa Rica for the multistage ‘Coastal Challenge'”

Answer“Erm, yes! of course”

So, with just 4 weeks to prepare I was suddenly thrust into a week in the jungle. A whole new experience for me but one that I am so excited about! The Coastal Challenge.

I would normally be thinking to myself this is awesome. I get to go to Costa Rica, take part in a 6 day multistage, take photos, write an article and of course get some interviews. Unfortunately my long term knee injury is going to stop that… 225km over 6 days will just be too much and of course, I am not fit! Well, not race fit.

But as I said to my client and the RD, I think it is important to go these events and see it from both sides. If I am taking part, I wont see what is happening at the front of the race. I wont see ‘the race’ for the win. I also wont see the logistics and planning that go into a race like this. My trip is all about understanding every aspect of this race. So I am happy. I plan to dip in and dip out of stages but ultimately report on and bring back a whole series of images and stories that I can relate back to readers and listeners worldwide.

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica

The first question I had was, can I die?

Heat Illness and Dehydration

Individuals who are not well conditioned traveling in hot, humid environments are susceptible to both heat illness and dehydration. Heat illness includes both very benign conditions such as heat rash as well as life threatening conditions including heat stroke. Participants should carry enough liquids to ensure hydration during the event. It is important to eat and drink appropriate amounts of liquids with electrolytes during the event to reduce the incidence of hyponatremia. Water has not been an issue in previous Coastal Challenge’s, however, this year portions of the race will be through agricultural areas that will require purification before drinking.

Plants and Animals

There are 135 species of snakes in Costa Rica with 17 being considered dangerous. Mostly these are members of the Viper, Coral and Boa families. The best prevention is watching your path and being aware.

Water Safety

While the water in Costa Rica is generally considered among the safest in Central America, traveler’s diarrhea does occur. It is advised that any water be treated prior to drinking unless its safety can be guaranteed. Speak to your Family Physician about treatment issues (Pepto Bismol, Antibiotics, etc.)


February is considered the dry season so expect warm temperatures with average highs of 20-25C/70-85C depending on altitude. Furthermore the race will be going through some of the driest areas of Costa Rica. Proper sunscreen is essential (SPF 15 or greater) with enough to last multiple daily applications for the entire race.

Okay okay, that sounds okay… the chances of survival are pretty good. So then, what is The Coastal Challenge?

  • 225km
  • Costa Rica
  • Supported stage race
  • 6 stages
  • February 2013

The “Rainforest Run” promises to be spectacular and challenging. The course has been designed to emphasize point-to-point racing, which will put the “finish line” at or near camp at the end of each day’s race. The course is measured and will be marked. You will be given accurate course measurements and maps (Google Maps, Nat Geo maps) with route profiles for terrain, approximate distances and elevation gain or loss.

Set along Costa Rica’s tropical Pacific coastline and weaving into the Talamancas, a coastal mountain range in the southwest corner of Costa Rica. The race finishes near the border of Panama in a small and serene fishing village that until recently was only accessible by fishing boat.

Mountain, trail, rainforest, single track, across ridges, highlands and coastal ranges. We will run along beaches, rocky outcrops, reefs, river estuaries and the race finishes in the Corcovado National Park, one of the premier rainforest experiences in the world. A Unesco World Heritage site it defies description.

The course has a total elevation gain of more than 34,000 feet.

What is a Rainforest?

Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750–2000 mm (68-78 inches). The monsoon trough, alternatively known as the intertropical convergence zone, plays a significant role in creating the climatic conditions necessary for the Earth‘s tropical rainforests.

Around 40% to 75% of all biotic species are indigenous to the rainforests.[1] It has been estimated that there may be many millions of species of plants, insects and microorganisms still undiscovered in tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforests have been called the “jewels of the Earth” and the “world’s largest pharmacy“, because over one quarter of natural medicines have been discovered there.[2] Rainforests are also responsible for 28% of the world’s oxygen turnover, sometimes misnamed oxygen production,[3] processing it through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide and consuming it through respiration.

The undergrowth in a rainforest is restricted in many areas by the poor penetration of sunlight to ground level. This makes it easy to walk through undisturbed, mature rainforest. If the leaf canopy is destroyed or thinned, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense, tangled growth ofvinesshrubs and small trees, called a jungle. There are two types of rainforest, tropical rainforest and temperate rainforest.


The race is supported. This makes a big big difference. Although the race has a similar format to the Marathon des Sables, the big difference is that you do not need to carry your kit whilst running. This multistage is very much a race from the sense that the runners can race light and fast. The top runners will keep it minimal, hand bottles or a small pack. However, for most participants they will carry a pack with some ‘essentials’ and of course a bladder or bottles.

Base camp is set up by the race team. They transport the participants baggage to the finish of each day. Runners can sleep in a hammock or tent.They provide food (apparently excellent) and they also provide a series of check points and feed stations during the race.

After asking several questions, I was told by Rodrigo Carazo the following:

‘In regards to the race, it is a VERY HUMID race, plus it is also VERY HOT, if you have been to MDS, our conditions feel worse in terms o humidity, it rarely gets above 35 degrees but he humidity factor makes it feel hotter. But dont worry the sights and race course and race atmosphere really make the heat a minor issue in regards to the experience, but nonetheless it makes for a very demanding race and it is very rewarding once the race  is finshed!!!!
Once the race begins we provide everything you need for the next seven days except your specific racing food. We provide all meals, a highlight of our race you will see, and on course we provide water gatorade, fruits , nuts, sandwiches and cookies, but we dont provide energy bars or similar. At night you will be staying in campsites so bring your tent-with rainfly just in case ( its the tropics!) and a sleeping mattress. Some people bring sleeping hammocks.
Also bring plenty of running and beach clothes, you will need them as after every stage you will end up full of mud and bathed in sweat!! Do not bring shoes or socks you haven’t tried or raced with, this is because your feet will be constantly wet and humid, and blisters could be your worse enemy! Also bring a lot of sun protection, we see a lot of people coming from winter in their home countries leaving back with very sexy ruby red tans!!!!
We transport all you gear daily in a duffel bag or action packer plus your tent.”
Okay, loads of run kit, loads of beach clothes, mattress, tent etc etc etc… I have 4 weeks!
I make a couple of calls and send a few emails and BIG thanks need to be expressed here to The North Face and Arc’teryx.
Both companies have stepped in at the 11th hour and have provided me with a selection of kit that will help me on the trip.
The North Face have provided a tent, luggage and a selection of run clothing. Arc’teryx have provided travel and relaxation clothing.
The North Face
TNF Mica 1 Tent

TNF Mica 1 Tent

The Mica 1 tent will be excellent as I can pitch just the ‘inner’ allowing me to potentially remain a little cooler in the ridiculously hot and humid climate.

The North Face

  • Single Track Hayasa Shoes
  • GTD shorts
  • GTD LS top and SS top
  • Waterproof Pack
  • Enduro 13 Pack w/ bottles
  • Mica 1 Tent



  • Incendo Short
  • Motus Shirt
  • Neutro Vizor

Race Schedule

TCC stg 1

TCC stg 2

TCC stg 3

TCC stg 4

TCC stg 5

TCC stg 6

One’s to watch

  • Dave James from US – interview with Dave James on episode 27 of Talk Ultra HERE
  • Jen Segger from CA
  • Roiny Villegas from CR
  • Ligia Madrigal from CR
  • Ismael Dris from Spain


FEET CARE by John Vonhof

Conditioning Your Feet

In the same way you train your legs and cardiovascular system, you need to condition your feet for the rigors 150 miles of The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. In short, that means training your feet in simulated race conditions. Train on somewhat similar terrain—sand, rocks, trails, hills, and in water. Knowing in advance how your feet will respond to these conditions will help you anticipate problems before they occur. Strengthening your ankles will help prevent sprained ankles common to uneven terrain and trails. Add in some walks or runs of longer amounts and vary your distance. The more miles you can get on your feet the stronger your feet will be.


When selecting shoes, make sure your toes have wiggle room and your heels are snug with little up and down movement. Shoes with mesh may be cooler but tend to allow trail debris and sand into the shoe. Don’t start the race with worn out shoes. Make sure the shoes fit well and have space for swollen feet and toes.


Athletes should wear moisture-wicking socks. Try a few types of socks and decide whether a single sock, a thin liner with an outer sock, or two socks are the best for your feet. Remember if wearing more than one pair, more space is required inside your shoes so be sure your shoes are sized big enough. Plan on several changes of socks. The Injinji toe socks place each toe into its own little sock and might be a good move if you are prone to toe blisters.


Gaiters keep sand, grit and gravel, and trail debris out of your shoes and socks. There are many commercially made gaiters available to purchase or make your own. Those with a breathable material are preferred. Styles which attach to the shoe’s upper are preferred over those with the strap under the shoe since they make it easier to change socks.

Skin Preparation

The most beneficial step you can take to prevent problems is to reduce your calluses. Treating blisters under calluses is difficult and sometimes impossible. Use a callus file after showering or use callus remover creams to soften the skin.

Toenail Preparation

Untrimmed nails catch on socks putting pressure on the nail, causing blisters and black toenails, and cut into other toes. Toenails should be trimmed regularly, straight across the nail. Leave an extra bit of nail on the outside corner of the big toe to avoid an ingrown toenail. After trimming, use a nail file to smooth the top of the nail down toward the front of the toe and remove any rough edges. If you draw your finger from the skin in front of the toe up across the nail and can feel a rough edge, the nail can be filed smoother or trimmed a bit shorter.

Blister Prevention

If stopping to rest on the trail, take your shoes and socks off to air your feet, elevating them if possible. If near water, cool your feet with a quick soak. Use a silicone-based lubricant, like Hydropel or Sportslick which helps drive moisture away from your skin and reduces friction between your feet and shoes. Empty your socks of rocks and debris that can cause blisters, sores, abrasions, and cuts. If prone to blisters, consider taping your feet before problems develop.

Blister Treatment

Attend to hot spots when they develop to prevent them from turning into blisters. Cover these with tape to eliminate friction. Blisters should be drained and covered with Spenco 2nd Skin, Blister Block, or Compeed, and then tape. Your feet must be cleaned of all lubricant and oils for the patch to stick. If using a pin to drain the blister make several holes. If using a small scissors, make two small “V” cuts. Make the holes or cuts at a

point where foot pressure will expel any additional fluid build-up. Try to keep the skin on the roof of the blister. After applying a patch, roll your socks on and off to avoid disturbing the patch. Practice applying blister patches on areas of your feet most prone to problems.

Your Foot Care Kit

Wise competitors carry a small foot care kit in their packs. It doesn’t have to be big but it has to be right for your feet and small enough to fit in a Ziplock bag. I’d recommend a small container of Zeasorb powder or BodyGlide lubricant, alcohol wipes to clean oils off the skin before applying a blister patch, tincture of benzoin wipes, a small Ziplock bag with 1-inch Spenco 2nd Skin patches, a sewing needle and thread to drain blisters, and at least two yards of Leukotape wrapped around a small pencil. Duct tape can be substituted for Leukotape if you prefer. Of course it goes without saying that carrying a blister kit is useless if you don’t know how to use the materials. Use the time between now and the race to learn how to patch blisters and tape your feet before an event.

Foot Care at the End of the Day

After each day’s segment, proper care of your feet can help prepare you for the next day.

Using lightweight flip-flops around camp will allow your feet time to air and heal. If possible, soak your feet in cool water. Elevate your feet when resting. Rotate your socks to keep your feet as dry as possible and wash dirty socks. If your feet swell, you may have to remove your insoles. Use Super Salve, Bag Balm, Brave Soldier Antiseptic Healing Ointment, or a similar ointment to keep your feet as healthy as possible.

John Vonhof – Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes, 3rd edition, June 2004

Essential Medical Kit

  • Alcohol hand rub or equivalent. Have 2 X 100ml bottles available.
Take one with you on run or event.
Use on every occasion that you use the toilet/ wash room. Use before and after eating food.
  • Use often Moist toilet tissues or baby wipes
  • Friars Balsam (Tinc Benz Co) 100mls in leak proof bottle.
  • Cotton buds around 20 kept in a plastic zip bag
  • Fleecy web in rolls or sheets
  • Zinc oxide tape or duct tape.
  • Compeed
  • Antiseptic liquid 100ml in leak proof bottle
  • Antiseptic dry spray 200ml
  • Sterile large bore needles x 10
  • Alcohol wipes, small x 20
  • Zinc oxide tape x 1 roll 5cm wide
  • Steristrip various sizes
  • Vasaline or Sudacrem
  • Adhesive remover or Zoff
  • Zeasorb powder or talcum powder
  • Small pair of dressing sicissors
  • Latex gloves
  • Gauze swabs
  • Sun screen and lip balm
  • Rehydrate salts or equivalent
  • Antibiotic cover
  • Just to clarify a point about running shoes, running shoes should be good fitting and not too big. You can bring a size bigger just in case your feet swell but do not start with them. Bring sandles/ flip flops for around camp in the evening.



The Coastal Challenge chose the spiral symbol because of its simple and transcendent beauty. Many of the most universally recognized meanings attached to the spiral seem relevant to the adventure in which you are about the take part. To many cultures the circular motif signifies centeredness, tranquility and balance.

Also a basic element in Western ideography, the clockwise spiral is strongly associated with water, power, life, the earth or sun, time, a journey, independent movement, and migrations of tribes, all things that will most definitely shape your life over The Coastal Challenge

 Visit the race website HERE

I will be updating my blog daily with a report and photos. Also check the Talk Ultra Facebook page and Twitter feed for any updates as they happen…..

Providing I can get a signal in the rainforest.