Runner’s have arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica ahead of the 2023 edition which starts on Sunday February 5th.
Admin day, pre-race protocols and race briefing will soon be completed and then an early morning journey to Quepos and the start line of stage 1 awaits.
For 2023, the runner’s in both Expedition and Adventure categories will experience some new route changes and distances. Notably, the expedition category, on paper, appears to be a tougher race.
Stage 1 is always brutal as for many, the heat and humidity really takes a hold and exhausts the un-prepared body. In the past, this stage has hovered around the 30km mark, for 2023 it will be 41km with 1071m+ for the Expedition category.
Stage 2 40km and 1828m+
Stage 3 49km and 1884m+
Stage 4 35.5km and 2434m+
Stage 5 40.6km and 1670m+
and the final stage 6 35.7km and 875m+
This makes a total 0f 241.8km and 9762m+.
For the shorter Adventure race, unlike in past editions, stage 1 will be shorter than the expedition at 32km.
Stage 2 17km
Stage 3 16.5km
Stage 4 12.5km
Stage 5 22.3km
Stage 6 35.7km
The Adventure race totals 136km with 4032m+.
With an International line-up, all eyes will be on the front of the race with a stellar male and female line-up.
For the men:
Mathieu Blanchard, Didrik Hermansen, Sebastian Krogvig, Dani Jung and Peter van der Zon will go head-to-head for the TCC crown. Sadly, local ever-present and multi podium finisher of the TCC, Erick Aguero will not start due to injuries sustained in a fall.
For the women:
UTMB one and two, Katie Schide and Marianne Hogan will once again do battle along with Tomomi Bitoh from Japan.
Departing from San Jose around 0330am, the journey to the coast will be undertaken in darkness. The hope is that runner’s can start the stage as early as possible, therefore taking advantage of cooler temperatures before the heat of the day arrives.
The TCC is the ultimate Costa Rican multi-day adventure. The route 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. The terrain is ever-changing and challenges each participant, from wide, dusty and runnable fire trails to dense and muddy mountain trails. Add river crossings, boulder hopping, swimming through rivers, passing under waterfalls, and long and relentless beaches, TCC is a unique experience. Finally, the finish will come in the incredible Corcovado National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site with a stunning final loop around Drake Bay. After an evening relaxing, the runner’s will depart for their journeys back to San Jose via speedboat to Sierpe and then a follow on coach trip.
“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 exotic 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.” – Sebastian Krogvig
Located at the iconic Club La Santa resort, our training camp will provide you with all the knowledge, experience and practical training you need to make your next trail, ultra and multi-day adventure a success.
Hosted by IAN CORLESS, the training camp is the perfect place to hone your skills for multi-day, fast packing and running in general.
2024 LINE UP
ANNA COMET PASCUA, PIERRE MESLET,
LAUREN GREGORY and INGE NIJKAMP.
GUESTS – KEVIN WEBBER and STEVE DIEDERICH.
Anna Comet Pascua won the 2022 Marathon des Sables in a dominant performance. An experienced sky, mountain and ultra-runner, Anna is also a multi-day specialist with victories at The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica and the Everest Trail Race in Nepal. A runner for the Scarpa Team, it’s a pleasure to have Anna join us in Lanzarote.
Lauren Gregory ran the 2021 (toughest) Marathon des Sables and was first British woman and 8th in the women category. A personal trainer, Lauren will guide a run group, host yoga sessions will provide a talk.
Pierre Meslet joined the Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp in 2022 after placing 9th at the 2020 Marathon des Sables. His attendance was a success, not only from the perspective of leading a run group but also his profession as a physio – He was able to provide ‘on-site’ treatment for our training camp. Pierre is back in 2023!
Inge Nijkamp has been top-10 at Marathon des Sables and The Coastal Challenge. A qualified nutritionist, she will guide a group, provide a nutrition talk specific to multi-day running and be on-hand for one-to-one nutritional consultations.
Kevin Webber after a successful 2023 camp has requested that he come back in 2024 for more… In his words, “I just loved this, great location, great people, great running, what’s not to like?” He will once again guide a group, provide an inspiration and moving talk about running with a terminal cancer diagnosis. He has many stories to tell.
Steve Diederich is the UK agent for Marathon des Sables, The Coastal Challenge and Everest Trail Race, he will be on-hand to provide advice about all three races and answer any questions. Currently studying Sports Psychology and come Lanza 24 he will be qualified and on-hand to discuss the mental side of sport and running.
“I wanted to say a big thank you for this week – I’ve left so energised and inspired after the week… I thought the camaraderie from other runners was incredible. If felt as if everyone had left their ego at home which really made for such open and honest sessions. I hope you have the opportunity to reflect on how impactful and enjoyable the camp was. The fact that the organisation was seamless doesn’t just happen and I know the layers of detail and spreadsheets that go into an event like this. I’ll be back I’m sure and when I do get to the start line of MDS I will be much more likely to succeed based on all the advice.” – EB
The purpose of any training camp is to provide you with specific information and training designed specifically to help you with your future objectives. Although you may run (train) more in this condensed week, it’s not designed to break you! Therefore, all training sessions are flexible and you can dip-in and dip-out as required. Most importantly, just as in any race, we will have a very mixed ability base. You will therefore train at your appropriate pace with like minded people.
Each day will be broken down into one or two specific training sessions, one workshop and leisure time.
Lanzarote offers a variety of terrain that can be found in many desert races and therefore it’s the ideal training ground to prepare and acclimatise for an up and coming challenge. Club La Santa as a resort offers a great base and all facilities are included. This is great for relaxation, an opportunity to cross train or more importantly it’s perfect for friends and family to join you as a plethora of opportunities are available.
The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica, is excited to announce that Mathieu Blanchard will join the line-up for the 2023 edition.
Mathieu shot to fame after the 2022 UTMB when he traded blows with Kilian Jornet, finally placing 2nd. However, Mathieu is not the new kid on the block… His results go back to 2016 with podium placings in his home of Canada at Quebec Mega Trail and Ultra Trail Harricana de Charlevoix.
The rise in the sport has been steady and planned, in 2018 for example, Mathieu placed 13th at UTMB, in 2019 10th at CCC, and in 2021 he showed the promise of victory with 3rd at UTMB.
While he may be considered a single-day specialist, Mathieu dipped his toes in stage racing with participation in the 2021 Marathon des Sables – an edition that has now become infamous due to the heat and sickness bug that swept through the race. Mathieu was primed to stir the race up on the long day, sadly, the sickness hit him and he went in to survival mode. He still managed 5th overall.
Now The Coastal Challenge awaits; heat, humidity and the prospect of running along the coast and in and out of the mountains for a week.
TCC is the ultimate Costa Rican multi-day adventure. Hugging the coastline of the tropical Pacific, the route weaves in and out of the Talamancas; a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of this Central American country. Ever-changing terrain challenges each participant, from wide, dusty and runnable fire trails to dense and muddy mountain trails. River crossings, boulders, swimming through rivers, passing under waterfalls, surviving long and relentless beaches. Finally, the 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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Before you start a multi-day, be that a race or a personal challenge, one thing is for sure, NOW is the time to set a goal and focus, fine-tune everything, including training, so that you can be at the start in the best shape possible.
First and foremost, have a complete understanding of the task ahead and set a goal or target. This is key not only in the physical adaptations that are required, but also the mental adaptations. There is a huge difference in doing something supported and in doing something self-sufficient. Marathon des Sables a prime example, understand the nature of the event and set a realistic but challenging goal.
MDS is an extreme event that takes place in the Sahara. The nature of the event is self-management both physically and mentally to endure the challenge, survive and reach the finish line. The weather (heat) is one of those challenges and surviving the weather is integral to the nature of the event. As is the ‘self-sufficient’ nature. Other than rationed water and a bivouac, be prepared to endure and complete this event with no outside assistance. Of course, help is at hand, but that help is and should be a safety element that is required in emergency. Equally, if undertaking a solo multi-day experience, do the research, plan routes, look at back-up options, can you re-supply with food, is water available?
Plan and prepare.
We are all unique and individual. Some of us are faster, some are mentally tough, some have a capacity to go for hours and hours and even days and yes, some runners combine all those elements.
Therefore, a multi-day training plan must be used as a template and framework to provide a structure for you, the individual, to achieve your goal.
Be sensible and adjust training plans so that they fit your ability, aspirations, training history and time available.
Think about when you place rest days, when you do long runs and when you work on hills and faster running. A training plan is like a jigsaw puzzle and managing the pieces and adding them together sensibly is how you make a successful and complete picture.
Any training plan is designed to progressively build strength, endurance, and confidence with gradual load increases. Rest is an important element of any training plan, so, rest with the same intensity that you train. Ultimately, you have decided to undertake this adventure, so, enjoy the process and make it fun.
Be specific. Make sure the training terrain, as much as possible, simulates your target event.
Always focus on the goal. Training plans for me start with the goal date and I then count back in time to a start point. That start point for you may well be before the 12-weeks but once you start the plan, focus on the target, and always make every session is as specific to the goal as possible.
For example, if participating in Marathon des Sables, you already know some key and important information:
It will be hot.
You will need to deal with hard and rocky plateaus, but you will also need to deal with soft sand and dunes.
You will be on rationed food/ calories.
You will only be supplied water to drink, and this is *rationed. In extreme weather such as the October 2021 edition, water rations were increased.
Everything (not the tent) will be carried in a pack, on day 1 this will be at a minimum weight of *8kg. (*Minimum pack weight is 6.5kg but you must carry 1.5 liters of water which equates to 1.5kg.)
You will sleep in an open tent, on the floor using a mat and sleeping bag.
The long day comes on day 4 after approximately 90-100km of running, so, you need to be able to run for consecutive days and manage your pace and effort.
The long day is (typically) between 70 and 90km and you have one full day, one night and most of the next day to complete it.
After the ‘rest day’ is a marathon.
You can complete the race by covering just 3km’s per hour.
In 2019, the MDS was won by Rachid El Morabity and Ragna Debats in 18:31:24 and 22:33:36 respectively. The last runner was Ka Chun Chan from China in 69:29:16. For perspective, Rachid could have run the race nearly four times in 69:29! We are all individual.
Key elements each runner needs for a multi-day like MDS.
You need to be mentally tough.
Physically strong to endure multiple days of back-to-back exercise.
Strong enough to carry a loaded pack and still move at a good pace.
Adapted to function on restricted calories and food choices.
Able to drink only water.
Adapted to perform and function in heat.
You need to be able to walk.
You need to be able to handle un-planned situations.
Have A, B and C goals.
Multi-day racing and multi-day adventures are unique and particularly self-sufficient ones when you must carry all you need for the duration of the event. In a race, you will carry clothing, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, essential items and food for the duration of the event. At MDS minimum weight is 6.5kg plus water. Just as you prepare physically and mentally, also be meticulous with equipment and food preparation. You ideally need your pack to be 6.5kg and no more… Additional weight is additional stress.
If fastpacking, you may possibly be as above, but you will need to carry your own tent and you will need to re-supply with water en-route either using natural water supplies or utilizing retail outlets.
Be specific and understand the demands of the event you are undertaking and plan accordingly.
WHAT SHOULD A TRAINING PLAN LOOK LIKE?
All plans need to be progressive and geared towards the end goal of a multi-day like Marathon des Sables or a fast-packing adventure.
Remember, we are all individual, so while a generic plan may provide a guide and structure from which to work from, it’s important to adapt and tweak to individual needs. For example, the training plan for someone who is trying to be top 100 at a race will vary greatly to someone who hopes to complete and not compete.
Each week will typically have one or two rest days.
A simple strength training structure that can be done at home or in a gym.
Hill sessions and speed sessions (tempo/ intervals/ fartlek) have a place in any training plan, but the quantity and duration will depend on what type of runner you are and what your aspirations are.
Long sessions are essential and most certainly, an element of back-to-back sessions will help adapt the mind and body for the challenge ahead. However, injury risk goes up with any block like this, so, it needs to be placed carefully with adequate rest and recovery.
Learn to walk. There is a huge difference walking with purpose and pace to ‘just’ walking. Except for the top runners, walking is an integral element to a successful completion of a multi-day race or adventure. Many only realise during the event. Get walking dialed in training.
Do some specific work with a pack and weight BUT be careful as it is easy to get injured.
Think of training as blocks of 4-weeks, build for 3-weeks and then rest/ take it easier on the 4th. An example could be as below.
The final phase of a training plan should taper to allow you to be strong and fresh when the start comes, typically this 2 or 3-weeks long. This a perfect time to add specific race adaptations such as heat training, preparing for humidity, preparing for a cold environment and of course fine-tuning equipment and packing.
Multi-day running or racing is exciting and adds many more elements to think about than ‘just’ running. Taking time to plan training and working to a goal is a worthwhile and constructive – it gives you something to aim for!
MDS 2021 Summary HERE The Ultimate Guide to Desert Multi-Day HERE
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, 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 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.
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 placed 4th and Daniel Herrera Montero placed 5th, flying the flag for Costa Rica.
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.
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!
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.
Tomorrow’s stage, stage 3, is 50.5km and a tough one that runs from Dominical Beach to a new finish at Katakolo.
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.
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.
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.
Giudy Turini dictated the women’s race and looked comfortable and relaxed, Francis Palacios chased.
Cp1 at Boca Naranjito and runner’s were already feeling the heat and the impact of the opening flat miles.
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.
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 and Franco Colle suffered in the heat and humidity today, placing 4th and 7th respectively.
Hayden Hawks 2:35:29
Peter van der Zon 2:47:13
Erick Agüero 2:51:59
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.
Runners have arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica ahead of the 2022 The Coastal Challenge. In less than 24-hours, racing gets underway close to the coastal town of Quepos, ahead, a multi-day journey that concludes in the stunning Drake Bay.
Hayden Hawks, heads up the elite field having raced here in 2018 and placing 2nd behind Tom Evans.
Hayden will have strong competition from Julien Chorier (France), Franco Colle (Italy) and Petervan der Zon (Netherlands).
In the women’s race, the main two protagonists will be Giudy Turini (Italy) and Tomomi Bitoh (Japan).
Tomomi recently placed 2nd at the October edition of Marathon des Sables and Giudy is an experienced trail runner, mountain runner and ski mountaineer.
The 2022 route for TCC, both Adventure and Expedition, has been impacted due to the Coronavirus pandemic and will see some changes. Notably to days 5 and 6 with a new camp finish and start resulting in a longer final day. More information will follow with daily posts.
Day 1 33.5km
Day 2 17.4km
Day 3 18km
Day 4 14.5km
Day 5 25.9km
Day 6 36.4km
Day 1 33.5km
Day 2 41.3km
Day 3 50.5km
Day 4 37.4km
Day 5 42km
Day 6 36.5km
Course records for previous editions of the Expedition are Tom Evans 21h 29m 12s and Ida Nilsson 23h 36m 04s.
Racing starts 0900 on Sunday February 6th. Use #TCC2022 to follow the race and check Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for daily updates.
A Multi-Day race or a long-distance ultra is a huge undertaking. For many, it’s a 12-month project (or longer) that slowly but surely can consume every available day, hour, minute and second.
I get it, a long-distance race over multiple days in an unfamiliar terrain can leave more questions than answers. However, don’t panic, it’s not that complicated – read HERE.
As your key adventure looms, it’s time to focus the mind, body, and equipment so that you can plan for and anticipate all that may go wrong and right while undertaking this key target.
Quite simply, the old saying, ‘Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail’ does and can ring true.
So, what can be done?
Luck can have a place in any success; however, it should never be relied on. In multi-day events, particularly self-sufficient ones, the need to fine tune everything is a key element.
All of the above have very important roles to play in success.
Get the training wrong, you may not have the fitness or an injury that will result in you not achieving the finish line.
Get the kit wrong, be it too heavy, not durable or inappropriate may impact on your ability to achieve your goal.
Many say the mind is a key and an integral part of any success. Often, the body can be willing, but the mind can be weak, get the mind focused and prepared.
You need to be prepared for whatever your multi-day adventure will throw at you.
In the final phase of training, 6-8 weeks before your adventure starts, is a great time to start working on the final phases and plans that will help ensure success.
THE PREPARE PHASE
If we assume that tapering will take 2 to 3-weeks, this key ‘Prepare Phase’ should be in weeks 4, 5, 6 and 7 before D-Day.
First and foremost, understand the challenge that you are undertaking. You may feel that you already have a grasp on this, but there is no harm sitting down and going through all they key aspects. Terrain, weather, mandatory kit, distance, and conditions. Look at the October 2021 edition of Marathon des Sables, the race started with a series of protocols to manage Coronavirus. Ultimately, Coronavirus was not a consideration, it was extreme heat, sickness and stomach problems.
Walk, WALK, WALK! – Walking will (for most) be an absolute essential skill to complete any multi-day adventure. You may think you will run most of the distance… But experience confirms that walking is a key to success. Walking, and walking with purpose is a skill. Practice. Consider poles, they may enhance your walking experience, if so, practice and use them.
Without doubt you will have long days, and some will go in to the night and through the night. Take time and plan and include a session like this in the ‘Prepare Phase!’ Understand here that this is an opportunity to test kit, not only yourself. Is your head torch bright enough, how do temperatures vary, how does my appetite and requirement for fluid change etc. By doing this in training, you do it in a safe environment. If it all goes badly, you can always make a call and get picked up or get a taxi. You can’t do that in your race or event. Darkness and nighttime can play tricks.
Back-to-back runs may well have featured in your training but running/ walking tired is a skill. However, be careful how you plan this in training. You want adapt body and mind, not break them.
Perform training with rationed water and race/ event food. You need to learn what works and what doesn’t work. It’s all very well going for a long run and then getting home and eating chocolate and drinking Coca Cola – can you do that in your event? Mentally this can be a real tough challenge – be prepared.
Your pack will be with you for the duration of your event. It must be as light as possible and also sturdy enough to last the challenge without breaking. Be minimalist on equipment and purchase the lightest equipment possible. Remember though, lightweight can often mean less durable, less warm, less functional and so on… Better to break or damage equipment in training so that you can make changes ready for the important challenge ahead. Modify and adapt.
Be specific. Snow, mountains, altitude, heat, or cold. Understand the demands that will be placed on you in your challenge and plan for a specific phase (typically in the 2-3 weeks before the event) to help acclimate. This could be a heat chamber, it could be arriving early before an event and adjusting to high altitude, it could be some specific cold, ice or snow training.
Plan an ‘event simulation’ that will require you to run for a specific distance, be self-sufficient overnight, sleep in a similar scenario/ situation to your event and then get up and run the next day. This can be a key element in understanding what does and does not work. Is your sleeping mat comfortable? Is the sleeping bag warm? Did your food taste good? How easy was it to cook? How about snacks, did they work? How was the pack weight and distribution of contents?
Train with your pack and add weight, however, be careful NOT to do too much training with too much weight. This can result in injury. In addition, learn how to pack your bag so that it sits comfortably with minimal bounce. Understand where to put snacks so that you can access them on the go.
Feet and shoes. Please do not ask. ‘What shoe shall I use for ‘X’ Event?’ Runners are individuals and what works for one does not work for others. Gait, foot shape, foot width, foot length, toe length, run conditions and so on all impact. Read THISarticle on how to find the correct run shoe.
Food glorious food. Calories are essential for an event, so is what they weigh. Understand food and its nutritional values and make sound educated choices that balance fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Also understand that taste changes. Sweet may be ok early on but typically savory is better as time passes. Is beef jerky better than nuts? What food rehydrates quickly or with cold/ warm water? Should I take bars? What about protein drinks? So many questions… They need answering!
You only have to do three things at most multi-day events:
All three impact on each other, so, make sure you have all of them dialed.
Finally, remember, we are all individual. What works for one person, will not work for another. It is your responsibility to take ownership of yourself, the challenge you are undertaking and the challenges it will bring. Ultimately, that is why you signed up, no?
A second-place finish at the 35th Marathon des Sables in October 2021 has set Japans Tomomi Bitoh up for The Coastal Challenge that will take place in Costa Rica, February 2022.
A relatively unknown when standing on the start line of MDS in Morocco, it soon became apparent that Tomomi was ‘one-to-watch’ as the race unfolded. Her relentless smile, positive attitude shone through resulting not only in a victory of the final stage marathon distance but 2nd overall.
Tomomi is new to the sport, in 2018 she became a freelance professional trainer and in April that year ran her first marathon, she now has a PB 2:59:32. Winner of the Fuji Five Lakes Ultra Marathon and the Fuji Goko Ultra Marathon 118km, Tomomi also races at a competitive level in Spartan events. Spartan will provide Tomomi a great level of skill sets that she will be able to utilize at TCC, especially with the mixed and challenging terrain.
Marathon des Sables was a breakthrough performance and the multi-day format of TCC in Costa Rica will bring a new challenge.
Hugging the coastline of the tropical Pacific, The Coastal Challenge is the ultimate multi-day experience that weaves in and out of the Talamancas, a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of Central America. The terrain is ever-changing from wide, dusty and runnable fire trails to dense and muddy mountain trails. Runners will cross rivers, boulders, pass under waterfalls, survive long relentless beaches and finally finish in the incredible Corcovado National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site with a stunning final loop around Drake Bay.
230km and 10.000m+
Join the race in 2022, February 5th to 12th, registration HERE
Please note, TCC requires full vaccination and documented proof will be required.
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