Episode 106 – The Coastal Challenge 2016 Special #TCC2016


This is Episode 106 of Talk Ultra. This show is all about The Coastal Challenge multi-day race in Costa Rica. We talk in-depth about Niandi’s experience and we bring you a selection of interviews to give you a feel for the race.

Book writing – RUNNING BEYOND will be released in November 2016 by Aurum Publishing.

00:01:04 Show Start

00:04:58 NEWS

ACONCAGUA – Fernanda Maciel established the first women’s FKT on , Aconcagua, earlier this month and I caught up with her immediately afterwards.

06:07:00 INTERVIEW

Fernanda said at the time should the weather be okay for a 2nd attempt that she would return. Return she did to established the first women’s FKT on the longer route. She traveled from the Horcones entrance gate to the summit and back – 60 kilometers and 4,100 meters of climb in 22:52. The mens record is almost have this time set by Karl Egloff who took the record from Kilian Jornet

ADDO ELEPHANT in South Africa

“As the only national Park in the world that offers visitors a chance to see the ‘Big Seven’ (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and the southern right whale and the great white shark in the marine area), we’re thrilled to be hosting the race again this year,” says Fayroush Ludick, SANParks Regional Communications Manager. “Because athletes will be running through areas of the park that they wouldn’t traditionally have access to, they will experience the park and its residents as never before.”

1 – Bennie Roux and Tom Adams finished together 21:45:08

2 – Chris Darke 22:24

3 – Ryno Griesel 24:55

1 – Linda Doke 29:25:34

2 – Kim Van Kets 33:34:12


1 – Ian Sharman 13:45, Paul Terranova 2nd and Will Swenson 3rd.

1 – Sabrina Little ran the 2nd fastest lasted time of 14:55, Amy Clark and Olga Buber were 2nd

and 3rd.

Notably, WSER legend Gordy Ainsleigh ran 28:31 to gain his WSER entry slot which many feel should have been guaranteed anyway!


Jonas Buud won the race in 8:00 followed by David Bryne in 8:22 and Ryan Sandes 3rd in 8:30

Fiona Hayvice won the ladies race in 10:34 despite Ruby Muir leading for much of the race and then dropping with injury. Melissa Robertson and Fiona Eagles placed 2nd and 3rd with 10:56 and 11:24.

This weekend as the show comes out Transgrancanaria will be staring and it is quite a stacked field, certainly the first big race of 2016. Read the preview HERE


Read the daily reports from Costa Rica HERE

The Coastal Challenge 2016 – The Full Story HERE

Images from The Coastal Challenge 2016 HERE



Australian Capital Territory

100km | 100 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website



55 km | 55 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


British Columbia

Dirty Duo 50 km Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


Likeys Ultra 6633 – 120 Mile | 120 miles | March 11, 2016 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 350 Mile | 350 miles | March 11, 2016 | website

Costa Rica

51 km | 51 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website



Trail aux Etoiles | 58 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Ultra du Bout du Cirque | 100 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


Endu’Rance Trail des Corsaires | 64 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


Le Poilu | 51 kilometers | March 13, 2016 | website


Ultra trail de Vulcain | 81 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website



Chiemsee-Ultramarathon März | 108 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


Translantau 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 11, 2016 | website

Translantau 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 195 kilometers | March 17, 2016 | website



Trasimeno Lake Ultramarathon | 58 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website


KubUltra 60 | 60 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

TITI 200KM | 200 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

New Zealand

Old Ghost Ultra | 85 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Te Houtaewa Challenge 60 km Open Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Waiheke Round Island 100 km Relay | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


All Women Ultra-Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


75 km | 75 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

South Africa

Om Die Dam 50 km Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website



150 km | 150 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

73 km | 73 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Transgrancanaria – Advanced | 84 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


Marxa dels Castells PLUS | 81 kilometers | March 13, 2016 | website

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 11, 2016 | website

UT les Fonts – Trail de les Fonts | 70 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Valencian Community

84 km | 84 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Sri Lanka

The Wild Elephant Trail | 210 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


100 km | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

120 km | 120 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

60 km | 60 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Aberdeen City

D33 Ultra | 33 miles | March 12, 2016 | website


Green Man Ultra | 44 miles | March 05, 2016 | website


Haworth Hobble | 32 miles | March 12, 2016 | website


Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

Telford and Wrekin

Millennium Way | 38 miles | March 06, 2016 | website


Imber Ultra Marathon | 33 miles | March 06, 2016 | website



Delano Park 50 Mile Solo | 50 miles | March 05, 2016 | website


50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

50M | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Old Pueblo 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 05, 2016 | website


3 days of Syllamo | 150 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website


Deo 50K | 50 kilometers | March 13, 2016 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Razorback 100K Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website

Razorback 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

Razorback 50K Endurance Race | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website

Razorback 50 Mile Endurance Race | 50 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

Way Too Cool 50k | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


100K Individual | 64 miles | March 13, 2016 | website

100K Team ( 3-4 Person Teams ) | 64 miles | March 13, 2016 | website

50K Individual | 32 miles | March 13, 2016 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50M | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website


Bear Blaster 50k | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


50 mile run | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

60k | 60 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 05, 2016 | website


50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

50M | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

New Jersey

Lenape Trail Run | 34 miles | March 05, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Graveyard 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Graveyard 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Long Course | 39 miles | March 12, 2016 | website


Green Jewel 50K Fun Run | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


Naked Bavarian 40M | 40 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

South Carolina

Foothills 50k | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website


Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

Red Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website


PEAK Snowshoe 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | March 18, 2016 | website


50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

50 mile | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Thomas Jefferson 100k | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

02:39:31 CLOSE


ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

Enter The Coastal Challenge 2017 HERE


The Coastal Challenge 2016 #TCC2016 – Stage 6 Results and Summary


Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

The stunning Drake Bay hosted the final day of the 2016 The Coastal Challenge. It’s an idyllic location located within the Osa Peninsula. Turquoise seas, blue skies and lush tropical vegetation make it one the most iconic places in Costa Rica.

The final day is to all intents and purposes a victory lap. Racing only really takes place if overall top positions are close, in the 2016 race, gaps between the top 3 were wide enough to make the day neutralised. However, despite this, Chema Martinez from Spain wanted to run and from the sound of the gun at 0615 he pushed hard at the front of the race and crossed the line alone for the final stage victory.

Iain Don-Wauchope, kicked back, puled out his GoPro and let the runners go ahead of him; it was a day of fun ahead.

Carlos Sa pushed the pace in one last effort to maybe take 2nd but when Gonzalo Callisto caught him and ran at his side with 50% of the day covered, they eased back and enjoyed the run for home.


The ladies race was well and truly over and Elisabet Barnes and Ester Alves ran the whole stage together, side-by side and they soaked up the Costa Rican ambience. They partied while running.


The final day is not without challenges though, an early run through a river bed, the crossing of a waterfall, hot running through open plantations and then a return journey to the beach finish at Drake Bay while weaving in and out of the stunning coastline.

The 2016 TCC will be remembered quite simply in just a few words:

Brutal, Beautiful and Hot!

It may well have been one of the hottest editions and word in and amongst the camp confirms that the race really has been a true test. MDS 2015 champion and Oman Desert Cup Champion, Elisabet Barnes, confirmed the thoughts of many on the finish line:

“This has been possibly one of the best races I have ever run. It has so much variety, so many challenges, no two days are the same and I have well and truly been pushed beyond my limits. The combination of such mixed terrain, intense heat and high humidity really do this make this race an ultimate challenge. But in and amongst this, the camp is relaxed, the food provided by the race incredible and the whole Costa Rican experience is one I will not forget. It has been special, really special.”


Damian Hall from the UK has placed in the top 50 at UTMB, been on the podium at The Spine and The Dragons Back and he also found TCC a true test placing 5th overall.

“The heat has been punishing, combined with humidity was brutal. The terrain has been so varied, it’s runnable at times but then other times you are just drawing along. It’s a seriously challenging race and the line-up has been top quality, I am really happy with 5th. The camp sites are amazing, the food has been brilliant and all-in-all it’s been a fantastic experience.”

Iain Don-Wauchope and Ester Alves are the 2016 champions, but to be honest, it may well sound like a cliche, any runner who survived this incredible 6-day experience deserves the ultimate respect.

It has been an awesome edition and talk now turns to 2017. Who will be back? Word in camp just hours after the race confirms that a few familiar names will return…

The overall standing in the ladies’s race are now:

  1. Ester Alves 33:04:32
  2. Elisabet Barnes 33:46:20
  3. Amy Gordon 42:18:15

Full ladies’s results HERE

The overall standings in the men’s race are now:

  1. Iain Don-Wauchope 24:25:11
  2. Gonzalo Calisto 25:27:38
  3. Carlos Sa 25:46:59

Full men’s results HERE

Stage 6 is a wonderful looped lap of drake Bay – a victory lap.

Full race results HERE

The Coastal Challenge 2016 #TCC2016 – Stage 5 Results and Summary


Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

Today was hot, very hot and very long! The longest stage of the 2016 The Coastal Challenge may well have been one of the most beautiful but 50km under the intense Costa Rican heat really did test every single runner int the race.

For the first time in the races’ 12-year history, the stage had an extra 4km. It doesn’t sound a great deal but at times it was technical and in addition, a new long beach section, a water crossing via boat and a stunning wooden rope bridge added to the days attractions.


The cool temperatures from the 0530 start soon disappeared and the intense, uncompromising heat arrived to punish the runners, the only consolation coming at the end with the stunning Drake Bay.


Chema Martinez finally found his Costa Rican legs and ran the stage side-by-side with race leader, Iain Don-Wauchope. They looked to be cruising on what was a very tough day. Don-Wauchope having run and won TCC in 2015 could appreciate the new course:

“The new additions are really stunning, no fantastic. But they are tough and challenging. The beach section was extremely tough due to the high tide. We had to run the tree line which made it difficult. But it’s a beautiful new addition to the race.” – Iain Don-Wauchope.

Crossing the sea to river inlet by boat, Both Martinez and Don-Wauchope took an extended break to cool off and then finished off the stage in style by cruising to the line together.Gonzalo Callisto finished 3rd and secured his 2nd overall.


It was a similar story in the ladies race however it was less planned. Ladies race leader Ester Alves took the lead relatively early on and at one point had extended her lead to approximately 30-minutes. A couple of navigation errors reduced this to just 1-minute in the latter stages of the race and with just 8km to go, Elisabet Barnes and Alves ran together to the line.


“It was the correct thing to do,” Alves said after the race. “There was nothing left to race for in the final km’s and I enjoyed the time talking with Elisabet.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Elisabet Barnes:

“I was feeling very rough this morning with a very dodgy tummy and took me 20km’s to feel good. Ester pulled away and there was nothing I could do. I eventually caught her but we once again entered a very technical section and she once again pulled away. We finally came together again after the rope bridge with 8km to go, running together was a pleasure after a great battle. Today was beautiful but so hot!”

The race concludes tomorrow with what will be a victory lap of Drake Bay and the National Park. The 2016 TCC has been an incredible race; very tough but many will remember it because of the intense heat.

The overall standing in the ladies’s race are now:

  1. Ester Alves 7:42:49
  2. Elisabet Barnes 17:42:49
  3. Tbc

Full ladies’s results HERE

The overall standings in the men’s race are now:

  1. Iain Don-Wauchope 5:4130
  2. Chema Martinez 5:41:30
  3. Gonzalo Calisto 5:52:16

Full men’s results HERE

Stage 6 is a wonderful looped lap of drake Bay – a victory lap.

Full race results HERE







The Coastal Challenge 2016 #TCC2016 – Stage 2 Results and Summary


Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

It was an 0345 start to day 2, a 0400 breakfast and then a 0530 start with the rising of the sun. Camp 1 bivouac was in an idyllic location next to the Savegre river and it appeared that everyone had had a good night, if not a little too short for some!

Departing camp, the course went immediately up with a long climb that was at times technical. Iain Don-Wauchope feeling very content after day 1 unfortunately rolled his ankle very early on and was forced to tike some time out due to dizziness. This allowed Carlos Sa and Gonzalo Callisto to pull away. However, as the summit of the climb approached, Don-Wauchope had clawed his way back to the duo and was looking strong.

In the ladies race, day 1 leader Elisabet Barnes was well aware that day 2 would be a battle due to the technical uphill start. Ester Alves comes from a Skyrunning and mountain running background and therefore, the early sections of the course played into her hands. At the summit, Alves had a lead of approximately 7-minutes and the ladies race was on!

The heat had arrived and with it the humidity. It was going to be a hot day and with no clouds in the sky, the conditions would be relentless for the runners.

Don-Wauchope bided his time and decided at Cp2 it was time to apply the pressure:

“I rolled my ankle on day 1 and protected it. To roll it again on day 2 was just annoying. Having taken some time to compose myself and close the gap back to Sa and Calico, I decided that my moment to extend my lead was from Cp2. I upped the pace and Sa went with me. He held on for quite sometime before I finally make the gap. I was protecting my ankle all the day though. To win again feels great. I still think the racing is not over, Sa and Calico look strong.” – Iain Don-Wauchope.

Don-Wauchope pulled away and Sa and Calico ran together in pursuit. Calico looked relaxed all day and was often seen running with a GoPro. He is racing, no doubt but he’s also enjoying the journey.

The overall standings in the men’s race are now:

  1. Iain Don-Wauchope 6:30:56
  2. Gonzalo Calisto 7:05:14
  3. Carlos Sa 7:10:56

Full men’s results HERE

Alves was in her element on the mountain terrain and used it to her advantage to slowly close the gap between her and Barnes. As the running became more consistent, Barnes started to slowly cut away at the gap Alves had created. We all soon realised that we had a real race on our hands.

“I felt much better in the heat today,” Alves said. “This course and place is amazing, the views are incredible and I am loving the race. To win today’s stage is a real bonus.”


It was a sentiment echoed by Barnes, “The course is incredible but extremely tough. Combined with the heat and the humidity it’s just brutal. I knew that I was always going to lose time this morning on that technical climb and I have to accept that Alves is stronger than me on those sections. I used my running speed to close the gap today but over the final km’s on the beach when I had hoped to push harder, I had nothing left to give. It’s very close now with another very technical start to tomorrow’s stage; I have a race on my hands.”

Alves looked strong over the final 10-15km’s of today’s route, several river and sea crossings spiced up the race and the action but she didn’t waiver.

The overall standing in the ladies’s race are now:

  1. Elisabet Barnes 9:01:20
  2. Ester Alves 9:02:53
  3. Amy Gordon 11:15:53

Full ladies’s results HERE

Stage 3 is a tough day and the longest so far. The early stages of the race are very technical with a long run through a river bed that includes scrambling. The crossing of a waterfall and an extremely tough climb and then a long descent to the beach with a short final road section to camp. It’s a day where Don-Wauchope will be put under pressure but the real race will come between Alves and Barnes. Expect Barnes to lose time early on and then the big question will be, can she close the gap and reel Alves in.

Full race results HERE

The Coastal Challenge 2016 #TCC2016 – Stage 1 Results and Summary


Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

Iain Don-Wauchope return to the heat, humidity and rainforests of Costa Rica and despite below par training in the build up to the race, repeats his 2015 first day with a blistering performance against a world-class field that left his nearest rival 19-minutes back at the finish line.

Lady on fire, Elisabet Barnes, followed up her 2015 MDS victory and Oman multi-day race with a strong first day performance ahead of Portugal’s Ester Alves.

The day started at 0345 with an early call and a 3-hour transfer from San Jose to the coastal town of Queopos. The race started at 0930, the only day that the race will have a late start. All other days start at sunrise due to the heat and humidity.

Each year the race director Rodrigo, warns the runners of the heat, the dangers of dehydration and how important it is to start slow and ease in to the day. Boom… the race started and as in every other year a lead group of men shot off the front at a super fast pace. The inevitable explosions started to happen from just 6km and a very savvy Iain Don-Wauchope used his experience from last year and slowly but surely puled away opening a 6-minute gap just after PC1 and he continued to extend this all the way too the line.

“You wouldn’t believe how little running I have done. I am not sandbagging. Today’s run came from somewhere… maybe a little help from above. I am really happy with the run but as we saw in 2015, day 1 is just 1 day. The men behind are world-class and they could pull back my lead with just one day.” – Iain Don-Wauchope

Chema Martinez and Gonzao Calisto were chasing hard but it was very apparent that 2:08 marathon runner,


Martinez was suffering in the heat.  Calisto continued to chase trailing Don-Wauchope by 19-minutes at the line.

Carlos Sa closed with a consistent paced run to place 3rd. Martinez unfortunately slowed as the day progressed and struggled on the final technical descent the followed with a water crossing to the finish line.

“From 6km I had nothing. It was just an awful day and on the final descent, I couldn’t run, I just had to walk. At the finish the doctor looked at me and my blood pressure was low – it’s all down to the heat and humidity; a rally tough day!” – Chema

Overall men’s results here



Elisabet Barnes ran with Portugal’s Ester Alves in the early stages but the heat soon took hold and the high humidity caused Alves to slow, Without increasing her pace, Barnes slowly pulled away and continued to do so all the way to the line to secure a first stage victory.

Elisabet Barnes, “I knew it was going to be hot but I was surprised by the heat at the start. I enjoyed the stage, all very runnable and the 2nd half was tougher than the first; more undulations. The humidity made what was already tough, tougher and apparently it was a little cooler today because of cloud cover. I have a small lead but as we have seen in the men’s race, anything can happen, I will take one day at a time but it was a good start.”

Alves held on for 2nd place and although looking relaxed at the finish, she did say the heat and been a limiting factor today.

Amy Gordon ran a solid pace for 3rd overall on the ladies category.

Overall ladies results HERE


Tomorrows stage will be 38km and the estimated start time is 0530.