Four weeks today The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica will start. Celebrating ten glorious years, the 2014 edition of the race will arguably be the most competitive in the races history.
Kicking off the 2014 racing season, runners from all over the world will assemble in Quepos for an exhilarating journey along the Costa Rican coast and within the rain forests of this exciting and idilic land.
Unprecedented in the races history, an elite line up of runners will toe the line featuring:
- Anna Frost (New Zealad) – Salomon International
- Nick Clark (UK) – Pearl Izumi
- Julia Bottger (Germany) – Salomon
- Philipp Reiter Germany) – Salomon International
- Michael Wardian (USA) – Hoka One One
- Jo Meek (UK) – tbc
The words are still ringing true in my ears, ‘the tenth edition of The Coastal Challenge is going to be special, very special indeed’.
Rodrigo Carazo and Tim Holmstrom from the TCC organisation have quite a race lined up!
In addition, Gemma Slaughter, 2013 female winner of the TCC will return to defend her title. Without doubt, Gemma will find the 2014 race very different to 2013. However, she does have experience and knowledge of what this race can bring; from a physical and mental perspective. I will be catching up with Gemma in the coming week for an interview on how she feels, how training has gone and what are her expectations for the 10th edition.
Frosty – ‘Costa Rica is exotic to me. A place I have never been but it intrigues me with images of its beautiful coast lines, native bush that seems a little bit like home (NZ) to me and the bright clear blue sea that is so luring. So when I heard there was a stage race that covers this coastline I wanted to know more.’
Wardian – ‘I definitely enjoy the challenges of multi-day races as there are a lot of factors to account for besides just running and that intrigues me and inspires me. I think of all the things I learned in my previous outings at multi day races; to be as light as possible and balance your energy expenditure throughout the race but also, and this is a little contrarian, but to push more than you think possible because it is possible to recover quicker than you think. I also, take care of the small things because over a week of racing they can make all the difference.’
Clarky – ‘I actually haven’t been to Costa Rica before. Last year I raced in Nicaragua at the Fuego y Agua 100k. Nonetheless, I’m sure conditions will be much the same. Coming from mid-winter in Colorado, the transition to 95+ degree heat and high humidity in Central America is very tough, but I felt like I handled it decently last year. January and February have always been base-building months for me as I prepare for goal races in the summer, so I definitely won’t be sharp, but any time I toe a start line I have my race face on. That will be the case in Costa Rica for sure, especially as it looks like there will be good competition to race against.’
Reiter – ‘It sounds like a great adventure to me. Running eight days in the jungle, crossing rivers, hopefully seeing some wild and dangerous animals, sleeping in a tent-village and of course tasting some new food and local specialties. Running is such a great sport that we can all experience, I am really excited to share the trails with others who are equally passionate. It’s what I love and want to experience.’
Bottger – ‘I have never been to Costa Rica before. I am really excited to see the trails and landscape over there. The climate will be very different, the terrain and of course the culture and people. It is just a very nice mix of a lot of new things and impressions. I have never done a multi day race like this before; sleeping in tents next to the beach in a foreign country, spending some days with great people and becoming a “family”. It’s going to be really exciting’
Meek – ‘I am always very attracted to a country that is hotter than the UK. That is a no brainer! It’s the challenge, the opportunity to compete in something so different. This race I don’t need to carry all my kit, so, unlike the MDS I will be able to just run, admittedly for repeated days. It will be interesting and it should mean I can go faster.’
The stage is set!
I will be reporting live ‘daily’ from the race and posting each evening a synopsis of the action with images (connections allowing).
Follow on Facebook: HERE Twitter: @talkultra and of course on this website.
If you’d like to read more about The Coastal Challenge, here are my links to the 2013 (9th edition).
SUMMARY of the 2013 edition of the race – HERE
Images from the TCC – HERE
The Coastal Challenge on RUN247 – HERE
The Coastal Challenge on TrailRunner – HERE
The Coastal Challenge in Spanish TrailChile – HERE
Daily Blog posts from the 2013 edition of the race: