It was a warmer night in camp and the winds that had increased during the afternoon made for a comfortable night in bivouac. The tough stage 2 had left a real positive mood in camp, ‘If we can complete day-2, we stand a good chance of completing this MDS!’ seemed to be the general consensus. Many had loved the tough day, embracing the dunes. Others had found it a struggle. It is the MDS, so, it is to be expected. Of course, the day took its toll and for some, the 34th edition of the MDS ended.
Day 3 at 37.1km in comparison to day-2 would be an ‘easy’ day. Little tough terrain with lots of hard packed ground, stones and some soft sand and dunes. It turned out to be a hot day though, maybe the hottest day so far.
For the first 10km it was hard packed ground and the pace at the front was hard and fast with Rachid El Morabity dictating the the tempo with Julien Chorier – an unusual tactic the MDS champ. Behind a group of 10 followed including lead lady, Ragna Debats.
At 8km. a section of dunes lasted 3km to cp1 and then dunes followed to 16km. Rachid continued to push the pace and now his brother, Mohamed was closing the gap to join them. For the women, Ragna was in a race on her own, to be honest, she is pushing the men and overall top-10 classification.
Aziza Raji continued to chase Ragna as in all the previous day’s, but she just does not have the pace. Today, Gemma Game finally found her stride and started to look at home in the desert running ahead of the chasing women that included Meghan Hicks.
The push from cp2 the finish offered a little of everything in regards to terrain, the heat probably the most troublesome issue. The old village of Taouz provided a stunning and varied backdrop along with the Kfiroun.
As on day-1, Rachid finally put the foot down to gain a slender lead over Mohamed and Abdelaziz Baghazza who finished just seconds apart in 2nd and 3rd.
Ragna once again finished almost 30-minutes ahead of the 2nd women, Aziza, but notably Gemma closed to within a handful of minutes for 3rd.
Tomorrow is the feared long-day! The battle will be very interesting for the 2nd and 3rd women’s podium – can Gemma push ahead of the Moroccan? It would now take a disaster for Ragna to lose this race.
Rachid normally secures his victory on the long-day and one has to assume this will be his plan tomorrow. He will run steady early on and then push making the others follow his relentless pace. The top-3 are close though, anything can happen!
Pau Capell and Magda Laczak once again, win the Transgrancanaria 128 km providing the same result as 2018. For Pau it was his third time topping the podium in Gran Canaria.
Only American Hayden Hawks provided Pau with any competition, the duo ran the first stretch of the course matching each other, stride-for- stride all the way to Teror and beyond.
But Hayden could not match the relentless force of the Catalan. Pau extended his lead and just pulled away, not only from Hayden but the rest of the men. Twenty minutes became thirty and thirty minutes became forty. It was a masterclass of long-distance running and at the line, the 12:42:40 did not show on his face – an incredible victory.
Pablo Villa, Spanish champion of the RFEA 2018 and former champion of the Advanced in 2018, was the next to cross the finish line at Expomeloneras in 13:31:37. Canarian runner, Cristofer Clemente, 13:42:54, came in third position making a truly Spanish podium.
Magda Laczak won, once again after topping the podium as in 2018. In the early stages you ran comfortably as Chinese runner, Miao Yao dictated the pace. Miao dropped and Katlyn Gerbin took over the head of the race.
By Roque Nublo though, Magda took over the head of the race. It was no easy run… she was pursued by Kaytlyn Gerbin and Fernanda Maciel and it remained that way all the way to the line.
Magda did it though, she was the first to arrive in 16:22:56 and she stated, “It was such a hard race, at no point could I relax, I was pursued all the time, I had to push and keep pushing!”
Katlyn, 2nd at Western States in 2018, placed 2nd here in Gran Canaria holding off experienced ultra-runner and UTWT ever-present, Fernanda Maciel, their times 16:35:08 and 17:03:33.
As usual, the race ran on into the night as runners tried to achieve their own personal glory before the 0400 cut-off on Sunday 24th February.
The 2019 The Coastal Challenge today came to an end on the stunning beaches of Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula.
Pere Aurell and Ida Nilsson are the champions after a masterclass of multi-day running. The duo ran amazing races and Ida obliterated the 2018 record of Ragna Debats and in the process set 4 female stage records and placed 2nd overall. Holly Page set two stage records also.
The 22km final day is a stunning day, starting and finishing on Bahia Drake, the loop is like a mini Coastal Challenge all compressed into one stage. Waterfalls, rainforest, plantations, dusty fire trail, water crossings, beaches, coves and the stunning Pacific as a backdrop as the runners make the way to the finish.
The dynamic of the day was the staggered start for the top-6 after the mass start at 0700.
They were released as follows:
6. Ragna Debats 07:01:00
5. Holly Page 07:03:00
4. Jorge Paniagua 07:06:00
3. Marcus Scotney 07:10:00
2. Ida Nillson 07:15:00
1. Pere Aurell 07:21:00
The race was on between Jorge and Marcus and in the early stages, Jorge opened a gap on the technical trail. However, as soon as the trail became more runnable, Marcus unleashed his natural fast pace and secured his 3rd overall on GC.
After a tough stage 5, Pere was keen to make sure he won the 2019 TCC and by the waterfall, he had caught Ida for the 6-minute time gap. He then ran to the line and secured his victory ahead of the incredible Ida, who placed 2nd overall and dominated the women’s race.
Ida won 4-stage CR bonus’ worth $250 each and $2500 for a new CR – That is $3500 for her week in Costa Rica.
Holly Page was the first to cross the line holding off the top-5 runners and catching all those before her – in the process she set a new stage CR and in addition to her female CR on stage 4, she netted $500. On timing, Pere was the stage winner just missing Tom Evans 2018 stage-6 record. Marcus was 2nd and Holly 3rd.
The finish-line was full of emotion as an epic journey has come to an end. The 2019 TCC will go down in history for the incredible performances of all the runners, but the truly inspiring story his how the top-3 women placed in the top-6 overall, with Ida 2nd on the podium – truly epic!
For now though, it’s all about Pere and Ida celebrating victory. This evening, the awards will take place on the beach with a roaring camp fire. 2020 will see the 16th edition of the race and I am sure we can expect another spectacular race.
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 then a ferry across to the other side with the arrival of daylight. At 6:15am, they were released.
Much of todays race is very runnable on wide gravel roads and much of that chat pre-stage was that it was ideal for Ida and Marcus. 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 9km’s to the line with the final sections on the beach to the stunning Drake Bay, a Unesco Heritage Site
It was a day of drama, with the main podium contenders all running close together to checkpoint. Notably, Jorge was running side-by-side with Pere at the head of the race. Ida chased and then Marcus. Just before the right turn for the loop around the peninsula, Pere made his move and pulled away from Jorge.
Behind, Ida chased and Marcus was looking strong and gaining time.
Holly Page was some way back but looking relaxed and comfortable in the intense heat.
At the peninsula. Pere was first in the boat and crossed with no sign of any other runners. Jorge and Ida arrived together and shared a boat. Minutes later, Marcus arrived. It was all going to come down to the final 9-km’s!
What happened next, could not have been predicted. Pere struggled with exhaustion, the heat and sickness from a restless night before. He was reduced to a walk. Ida on the other hand went from strength-to-strength.
Ida left Jorge, pursued Pere, passed him and once again won the stage outright obliterating the previous female stage CR set by Ester Alves by almost 45-minutes – it was an incredible performance.
Marcus bided his time. Closed on Jorge and the duo fought an epic battle to the line. Marcus was 2nd just over 30-seconds ahead of the Costa Rican runner.
Pere finally arrived 20-minutes after Ida – he looked broken!
With the final stage tomorrow, an epic battle will unfold between Jorge and Marcus for the final podium spot on GC. Also, Pere and Ida have a potential fight. Pere has a lead of 17-minutes, one would normally say that is more than enough. However, after today, anything can happen…!
Holly Page finished 2nd woman and Ragna Debats lost time in the closing miles due to a navigation error, however, she did finish 3rd on the stage.
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. The top 6-runners will depart after the main group.
Day 4 from Coronado to Palma Sur 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 over 600m at 25km and then climbing again to 900m at 30km. From here, the runners drop like stones, all the way to the finish line in Palma Sur with 37.1km covered.
Pere Aurell once again showed incredible strength and recovery powers. From the start he pulled away from the competition and powered all the way to the line for another stage victory and a securing of his overall GC classification.
Behind Pere, the day started pretty much as one would have expected with Ida Nilsson, Jorge Paniagua, Marcus Scotney and Holly Page all following and all within seconds of each other at CP1. It was clear here, that Ragna Debats, the 2018 champion and course record holder was not having a good day. She trailed the front of the race and complained of sore legs.
As the miles passed, Jorge and Holly ran strong races. The duo pushed at the front and at the line, Jorge had managed to pull away a 5-minute gap on the British runner who won the stage for the women’s category and broke Ragna’s 2018 stage CR – the women’s race this year is proving spectacular.
Ida finished 2nd woman and 4th on the stage just 3-minutes behind Holly – she is way ahead in the overall women’s ranking and now 2nd overall on GC after Marcus had a bad day!
Stage 4 proved to be a tough day both for Ragna and Marcus. Ragna complained of tired legs and ran to the line trying to conserve energy for the two days ahead. Marcus though was trying to hold on the 2nd overall – a bad nights sleep and some stomach issues unfortunately impacted on him greatly and he lost far too much time allowing Ida to move to 2nd overall on GC. Marcus is now 3rd with Jorge less than 6-minutes behind. The fight for the podium is still on!
Tomorrow’s stage is 49km from Sierpe to Drake Bay (it is the longest stage of the race) and the early stages are very runnable – this will play into the hands of Ida and Marcus – will they have the strength?
Day 3 of the 2019 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 relentless beach – all intensified by Costa Rican heat and humidity.
The early trails leaving Dominical Beach take the runners into 10km’s of technical river bed. It’s all rock-hopping and slip-sliding away on the wet and greasy surface.
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 climb up a winding trail. From here on in, the terrain varies from rainforest, dusty access roads and technical trail before the beach arrives. Now the sun is high, the heat intense and it punished the runners mile after mile. A small dense rainforest is a prelude to a final section of road that leads to the finish.
Now, the heat is intense and the runners are sandwich pressed between sand and sky.
It’s a brutal day.
Pere Aurell dictated the early pace over the opening technical miles, his skyrunning background a real bonus. He pushed and pushed the pace and he opened up a considerable gap by the time of waterfall. This gap continued throughout the day until the final road section took its toll – reduced to a walk at time, Pere still finished the day first overall and first on general classification.
Jorge Paniagua was a key chaser today pulling away from Marcus Scotney. In the early-stages. Marcus didn’t look good and at the waterfall was a long way back behind the lead men and women. Post-race he complained of a damaged toe.
However, as the stage progressed and the trail became more runnable, Marcus clawed back time in in the final 6km he caught Jorge and managed to take 6-minutes from him. It was an incredible closing run.
The story of the day was the women’s race. Early on, Ida Nilsson and Ragna Debats traded blows matching each other, stride-for-stride. Pursued by Holly Page, the top-3 ladies were in for a real battle.
Ida made he move and slowly pursued the front of the race and increasingly opened a gap on Ragna. On the flat beach section, Ida lengthened her stride and does what she does best – run fast! She was now 2nd overall on the stage having caught and passed all the male runners ahead of her, with the exclusion of Pere. At the line, once again, she smashed the 2018 stage course record set by Ragna and earned herself another $250 CR stage bonus. Ida’s run in the 2019 TCC is incredible!
Ragna ran a solid race for 2nd but in the closing miles, Holly put an effort in and closed the margin to just 90-seconds.
With three stages complete, the general classification is interesting with Pere in a strong lead. Marcus is 2nd but notably, Ida is 3rd and just a handful of minutes behind. The fight for overall podium places is going to be an epic one.
It was a an 0400 wake up call this morning and an 0530 start. It may sound super early but believe me, the runners weren’t complaining! The advantages of an early start are simple, it gives the runners a good 2-3 hours before the heat starts to take its toll. Most had been in bed before 8pm and had maximised the time available to sleep and recover after a tough first day.
Stage 2 kicks off with a tough 39km climb and Pere Aurell was in his element as he climbed away from the rest of the field. Local runners Jorge Paniagua and Maikol Cruz chased looking really confident on the technical trail and Marcus Scotney pursued. It was early in the day for a fast pace and a long way to go, anything could happen!
Ida Nilsson today still looked incredibly strong and ran in 5th overall chased by Ragna Debats and Holly Page. Ragna looked more calm and relaxed than on day-1 and Holly complained of not feeling great.
Pere dictated the pace for the men, pushing and pushing. Could he hold on?
Behind, Marcus eventually caught the Costa Rican duo and pushed ahead confident in knowing he had gained a good chunk of time on day-1. He was now the virtual TCC 2019 leader on the road.
The course rolled up and down with a series of hard, stony and dusty access roads that connected sections of rainforest. At 16km another high point was reached, just over 700m and then it was all pretty much downhill before reading the beaches of Dominical and a flat but hot run to the finish.
Pere arrived first still looking strong and it was over 5-minutes later that Marcus arrived. The duo stayed that way all the way to the line. Looks like we may be in for an exciting battle for the overall lead in the coming days. Jorge managed to pull away from Maikol and at the line had gained an 8-minute gap.
Ida continued her dominance and once again broke the stage course record which was set by Ragna in the 2018 edition. Her run provided her a 5th place overall on the stage. Ragna finished 2nd looking more relaxed and confident but she still lost over 10-minutes to the Salomon runner. Holly finished 3rd and confirmed over the 2nd half of the stage she had felt better.
Tomorrow’s stage and 47.4km is a tough one that runs from Dominical Beach to Bahia Ballena.
Leaving San Jose at 0430, runners eventually arrived at Quepos and transferred to the beach for a 0900 start. It’s tough starting so late in the morning, particularly on the first day when there is no time to adapt. However, although temperatures were high, humidity seemed lower than in 2018.
The early flat miles ticked away and it was Marcus Scotney and Pere Aurell who had a short lead over Ida Nilsson who was matching them stride-for-stride and running just 2-3m meters behind.
Pursuing was Jorge Paniagua for the men and for the women, Ragna Debats, the 2018 champion had a slender lead over Holly Page.
A dense section of rainforest and then some fast trails to cp2saw Marcus Scotney move ahead Ida and Pere. But Ida was running to strong and went alone to hunt Marcus down. Behind, Ragna was having a tough day in the heat and Holly moved into 2nd women.
Ida for the women was in a race of her own and finally caught Marcus at the final summit. The duo dropped to the final river crossing and it was here, Ida moved ahead and clinched the overall stage victory less than 30-seconds ahead of Marcus. Her time obliterated Anna Frosts’ stage course record by 30-minutes – incredible!
Pere Aurell was the 3rd across the line and then remarkably, Holly Page was 4th, also well under Anna Frosts’ old CR. Jorge Paniagua rounded out the men’s podium and Ragna completed the women’s.
The 2019 TCC based on day 1 is going to be an epic race!
A film documenting Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel’s epic adventures traversing the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT).
Dropping globally on Red Bull TV and Red Bull’s YouTube Channel on Tuesday 04 December 2018.
Many thanks to Dean Leslie of Wandering Fever for the advanced preview of the film.
Lessons from the Edge is not your ordinary running film and it is all the better for it. I would even go as far to say, that the film is not about running. It’s about friendship, survival, pushing to the limit, not giving in and adventure.
The film documents, South African runners, Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel’s attempt on the ‘GHT’ – The Great Himalayan Trail. We need to be clear here, that it is ‘their’ FKT (fastest known time) attempt on trying to beat a mark set by fellow South African, *Andrew Potter – a journey of some 1400km in 28-days.
*Lizzy Hawker and others have done other journeys on the GHT.
Sandes and Griesel know each other well and often team up for adventures; their record-breaking Drakensberg Traverse a prime example. I hope they both will forgive me, but Sandes is often the star and the media draw, while Griesel is the brains and brawn behind. I myself always fall into this trap – post the Drakensberg and GHT records, I interviewed Sandes for my podcast Talk Ultra.
Tune into the Talk Ultra Great Himalayan Trail special released Friday 7th December 2018 – Episode 165 – it includes an in-depth interview with Ryan Sandes conducted just after the GHT FKT and two post film interviews with Dean Leslie of Wandering Fever and Ryno Griesel.
I seriously think that ‘Lessons from the Edge’ is finally going to give Griesel the long overdue credit he finally deserves. The guy really is a legend.
The film is made by Sandes and Griesel’s long-term friend, and good buddy of mine, Dean Leslie of Wandering Fever. I first met Dean in 2012 on the island of La Palma at Transvulcania and it is fair to say, our careers in the world of trail, ultra and mountain running have moved alongside each other ever since.
Let me be clear, I think Dean is one of the best filmmakers out there! He always manages to look beyond running and find metaphors for life, in this movie, he excels himself.
Listen to a full and in-depth interview with Dean Leslie below:
The words of Dean Leslie give an indication of the film and its story, “When Ryan and Ryno started the Great Himalaya Trail they knew it would be physically tough. But no one ever thought this run would be life-threatening.”
I love Nepal, so, I was hooked from the start with the amazing vistas, the beautiful Nepali people and the forever wonderful sound of ‘Namaste!’
While this journey started as an FKT, I think it’s fair to say that as the film unfolds, any FKT becomes irrelevant as one witnesses the danger, pain and discomfort both runners have to go through to achieve their finish. In a conversation with Sandes, he confirmed, “This attempt is more about an experience and amazing adventure, it is a once-in-a-lifetime type experience‚ not just a record attempt and something that I have been able to share with a true friend.”
Leslie narrates, and he has a silky-smooth calm voice that kicks off the movie and its pace. We instantly go to Sandes describing the ‘why’ of the GHT and then we see Griesel.
“Did you push it too far?” Leslie asks Griesel.
“No, not at all,” the answer.
Their journey would take them from the Tibetan border all the way to the Indian border in the east. Fast and light was the ethos and they carried no sleeping bags or tents, reliant on the hospitality of the Nepali people.
“If you plan an adventure with no risk, you are way too much inside your comfort zone,” says Griesel.
And from here, the story unfolds.
Before the FKT started, they had already risked their lives on snow and ice and I was immediately thinking that they were unprepared for the challenge ahead! The film does not shy away from this and the duo explain the danger.
“It was really dangerous, a little stupid,” said Griesel and Sandes admits his lack of experience in this environment.
From the outset, one realizes that Griesel is along not only for the comradeship but for mainly for his navigation and mountain experience. Very quickly they are in extreme snow and ice that visibly shakes them up.
All the time, Leslie’s drone footage provides some amazing shots to Sande’s and Griesel’s GoPro footage.
Kids join them, and the ‘Namaste’ sounds provide a wonderful soundtrack to Sandes and Griesel’s footsteps. Leslie, correctly says in his narration, “Although the Himalaya has the most breathtaking landscape, it is the Nepali people that captures the heart.”
The conditions, the fast and light travel without doubt take a toll on the runners. The Dolpa region approaches and without doubt, fear takes hold. They manage to obtain ice axes and rope borrowed from the locals. They had to change route and with a late winter and poor conditions, the area was desolate. The duo was struggling and seriously worried.
Griesel trying to maximize his time with navigation makes a school boy error and removes his gloves.
From that point, Griesel knew his fingers had frostbite.
From here on in, the story changes.
With only 9 day’s covered, there was a long way to go and everything was looking in jeopardy. All the time, Leslie provides a narrative to the ‘real time’ narrative of Griesel and Sandes.
Griesel sits with his hands in a bowl – it makes for gruesome viewing, but the will to carry on existed though. Some good running, a change of clothes, some sun and suddenly all was looking good.
Annapurna region and Sandes turns 36 – what a way to spend a birthday!
Much of what follows is good and you feel a page has turned and then suddenly screams. Griesel falls and is injured. The story unfolds, and one begins to feel the pressure on the two of them and in particular, Griesel. He has feelings on failure and inadequacy in comparisons to Sandes natural running ability.
Let’s be clear hear, Griesel is turning into a hero.
“It is not an option to quit… If I have committed to go from A to B, that is what I am going to do,” says Griesel. “Whatever we do out there is an extension of our daily lives, if you get in the habit of quitting, if that is an option, that translates to daily life…” And it is here that you really begin to understand the character of the man – his strength, his courage and some would say, his vulnerability?
The film mixes narrative and footage from Griesel and Sandes and constantly the film is interspersed with post GHT interviews to provide perspective.
It is here that we start to ask, what are the Lessons from the Edge?
The dilemma of Leslie and Sandes is obvious.
“Do you pull the plug… It seems silly at this stage, it is just a run!” says Leslie.
The final third of the film explores many questions, one is quite haunting, “Are you prepared to go out and do one of these things and die?” Asks Leslie.
“Yes, pretty much,” responds Griesel.
To not push life to the full is a slow death anyway they say and as the footage rolls on, you are left pondering your own life questions as well as the questions that Griesel, Sandes and Leslie had to ask.
Two mates, crossing a country and drinking tea – they live life to the full and it is these endearing moments that concludes the film with Leslie’s thoughtful narrative.
What would you do, what are your Lessons from the Edge?
The Coastal Challenge reaches new heights in 2019 celebrating 15-years of amazing racing.
The 14th edition completed in February 2018 at the stunning Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula, was a record breaker! Yes, course records were broken daily and Tom Evans and Ragna Debatselevated the overall CR’s to a new level obliterating the 2017 records set by the UK’s Tom Owens and New Zealand’s Anna Frost.
Time never stands still and to make the 15th edition of TCC extra special, race director’s Rodrigo Carazo and Sergio Sanchez have confirmed a new incentive for the 2019 edition of the race.
A reward purse totaling $8000will be up for grabs as the race gets underway from the stunning beaches of Quepos, Costa Rica.
Each day, $250 will be up for grabs should the stage course records be broken by the fastest male or female. For example, in 2018, Tom Evans broke every stage record, that would have been rewarded with a $1500 payout!
Should the overall course record set in 2018 by Tom Evans or Ragna Debats be broken in 2019, $2500 will be on offer. Should the male and female record go, that is a payout of $5000.
Feel like a fast start to 2019? It comes no faster than the 15th edition of The Coastal Challenge!
Following on from the announcement of Lucy Bartholomew (HERE), we now announce the incredible Ida Nilsson to the line-up of the 2019 TCC. Ida is the two-time champion and course record holder of the iconic Transvulcania on the island of La Palma.
Ida’s ability to run fast over mixed terrain is a huge advantage and is what sets her apart from the competition. Costa Rica and the TCC will be a challenge though… This is the first multi-day race on foot and coming from a snow/ cold climate, the adaptation to heat will be a challenge.
One thing is for sure, when the terrain is flat and fast, Ida will push the pace making the other runners suffer as they try to keep up!
Over the coming days and weeks, we will introduce you the elite runners that will toe the line of the 2019 TCC by asking them the same fifteen questions:
What attracts you to Costa Rica?
I have never been to Central America and Cost Rica has always been a dream because it’s amazing nature.
This is the 15th edition of the TCC, a special one – what do you know about the race?
I have mainly just seen pictures from people who previous ran the race. I know it’s a stage race along the coast with variation of flatter to more technical terrain with elevation.
Heat and humidity will play a major factor in the race, how do you plan to adapt?
My strategy will be to do it quickly once I arrive. I will come straight from Norwegian winter and unfortunately, I don’t have a sauna, otherwise that could have been an option.
Ragna Debats and Tom Evans set incredible course records in 2017. There is prize money available for a new CR in 2019 – does that motivate you? Can you break the record?
Yes, I feel that the record and the stage records are motivating, but this year there are so many of us who could win a stage and the whole race, so I feel that the competition in itself is more motivating than the times from previous year.
Multi-day racing brings many different challenges to a single-stage race – what are you most looking forward to? What are you most fearful of?
This will be my first stage race, so that will be interesting! I think that all the others have done something similar before, so I look forward to finding out how I will handle six days in a row. I think it’s really nice to have the opportunity to arrive to a different camp site each night. What I fear most is to get some kind of injury during the race.
The elite line-up is incredible for 2019, you will need to be in the best shape, does that excite you?
Yes, it will be tough since I never do much running in the winter, but hopefully, I will be in good shape from skiing and exited to run in shorts again!
February is early in the season, what will your winter training look like, so you will be ready for February?
Mainly skiing, but I will throw in some runs as well to have my running legs prepared.
TCC is a tough race that suits a rounded athlete. You need to be able to climb, descend, handle technical trail and run on the flat – where will your strengths be?
Compared to the others I think my strengths will be on the flatter parts of the race.
What experience do you have of multi-day racing?
None in running. Pierra Menta in skiing (4-days) which is an iconic race.
Racing starts very early in Costa Rica, with the sun! An early finish allows for relaxation on the beach, you can even have a beer – combining racing and relaxation is a key of TCC. It is a ‘Pura Vida’ race – tell us about your hopes and desires for the 2019 edition.
Yes, that’s the best of everything I like to do. Exploring and racing for some hours in the morning and then swimming, eating fruits and drinking beer in the afternoon.
What three music choices would sum up your racing style?
Wow, I have never thought of that! I don’t even know if I have a racing style? But two songs I listen to before Transvulcania are ‘The Dreamer’ from The Tallest Man on Earth and ‘Piece of My Heart’ by Janis Joplin. And I feel they work well for me and resonance with my feelings.
Tell us about your nutrition and hydrations strategies for the race?
Yes, hydration is probably the key and then to fill up with food after each day to have energy for the whole week.
Tell us about key equipment such as shoes and apparel that you will use?
I think I will use the Salomon Amphibia for this race, which is developed for swim runs and still works very well if it’s wet and muddy. Other running apparel I haven’t really planned yet!
Feel free to tell us something, anything!
I’m very happy I got invited to the 2019 TCC.
Tell us about your greatest achievements?
1) Zegama 2018
2) Transvulcania 2017
3) Ultravasan 2017
4) Lidingöloppet 2018
5) Transvulcania 2018
6) TNF 2017
7) Swedish x-country 4 km 2018
8) Swiss Alpine 2017
I really look forward to this opportunity to discover a new country with stunning nature and trails. I also look forward to the stage race experience and share it with the other participants.
TCC as it is affectionately known is a multi-day race starting in the southern coastal town of Quepos, Costa Rica and finishing at the stunning Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula. It is an ultimate multi-day running experience that offers a new challenge even to the most experienced runner. Taking place over 6-days, the race hugs the coastline of Costa Rica, travelling in and out of the stunning Talamanca mountain range. Even the strongest competitors are reduced to exhausted shells by the arrival of the finish line due to the combination of technical trails, dense forest, river crossings, waterfalls, long stretches of golden beach, dusty access roads, high ridges and open expansive plains.
You can read and view images from the 2017 edition HEREand the 2018 edition HERE