It was the longest day of the 2018 The Coastal Challenge and what a day! At 49km, it was only 2km more than day 3 but coming at this stage in the race, it is always a tough one.
Runners departed camp via bus for a short bus ride to the Sierpe river and ferry across to the other side. At 6am, they were released.
Much of today’s race is very runnable on wide gravel roads. It’s great if you can run, but for many it’s a tough day. Technical forest sections break up the distance and then at 2/3rd of the race covered, the runners turn right on a loop around the peninsula, running through forest trails before finally dropping to the beach and taking a small boat from one side to the other.
Once across the estuary, it is 10km’s to the line with the final sections on the beach to the stunning Drake Bay.
It was a day of drama, Tom Evans and Hayden Hawks pushed all day, but they are so matched – Tom the obvious stronger runner who is marking Hawks to ensure he retains his winning margin. To watch these two has been seriously impressive, the pace mind-blowing and the old course record is being obliterated. With the finish in sight, Hawks lifted the pace, Evans was having none of it and they started a 400m sprint… Evans pulled away winning by 4 seconds, 4:32:14 to 4:32:18. It’s fair to say, that Tom Evans will be the 2018 TCC champion with a new course record!
Ragna Debats, just like Evans and Hawks has been an unstoppable force, not only in the ladies’ race but the men’s. She has pushed and pushed, obliterated all previous times and in the process has smiled all the way to each line. Today she went through a bad patch, rallied and then crossed the line 7th in 5:34:55.
The big news of the day, unfortunately, saw Marcus Scotney and Jorge Paniagua (3rd and 4th on yesterday’s stage) disqualified from the race after missing a key right turn and missing many challenging kilometers. They were told to turnaround and retrace; they chose not to. I will provide more information on this when I have spoken to Marcus and Jose. In simple terms they were out of water and would have needed to run another 20km before reaching an aid station, in this heat, that would have been reckless. Needless to say, both are devastated with the mistake!
This mistake has opened up the general classification and of course the first place for Costa Rican runners.
Erick Aguero seized the opportunity finishing 3rd on the stage in 5:11 and Michael Wardian 4th in 5:16. Neruda Cespedes was 5th in 5:19.
Suzanna Guadarrama has been a revolution as the days have passed and she has become stronger. Yesterday she finished with Ester Alves, today, she pulled away and finished 2nd lady in 6:01. Ester Alves, ever the fighter, pushed hard and finished 3rd, just over 20 minuses later in 6:22. Josephine Adams had a great day finishing 4th and that will certainly move her up the rankings!
Tomorrow’s stage is a loop of Drake Bay – it’s a stunning day that manages to encompass all the previous 5 days in one loop.
- Tom Evans 4:32:14
- Hayden Hawks 4:32:18
- Erick Aguero 5:11:46
- Michael Wardian 5:16:22
- Neruda Cespedes 5:19:18
- Ragna Debats 5:34:55
- Suzanna Guadarrama 6:01:34
- Ester Alves 6:22:51
- Josephine Adams 7:17:23
- Kerri Treheme 7:36:16
Full results at www.webscorer.com
Follow the action as the race unfolds #TCC2018