Dominical Beach – Ventanas Beach
Day three of the TCC is always a significant stage! Combining extremely mixed terrain it suits no one style of particular runner, however, if you are a balanced runner, the stage can play to your hands.
Iain Don Wauchope was stinging a little after loosing the lead after a stunning stage 2 run by Mike Murphey. Kicking off the day, Iain made it very clear that he wanted to make this a race and if Mike wanted to keep overall victory, he was going to have to keep pushing.
The race started with a long section of ‘running’ in a riverbed. It was a run that was part swimming and part bouldering. For those in the know, Iain is a repeat winner of The Otter in South Africa, a race that incorporates all these elements. In his element, Iain slowly opened a lead and at Nauyaca Waterfalls he was clearly showing Mike his intentions.
As the day progressed, the gap between the two front men continued to open as Iain gained time on Mike. A long, tough and technical descent from cp2 was followed by kilometre after kilometre of hot and stunning beach. The sting in the tail; a small dense forest section and then 4km’s of hot tarmac road. With temperatures well over 30-degrees and humidity through the roof Iain showed stunning form by not only winning the stage with a new course record but he had gained enough time over Mike to take the race lead by 1minute and 51seconds.
Mike Murphey had had some nutritional problems during the stage but ultimately, I think he paid the price for pushing so hard on day two with a course record run. Mike’s legs looked like he had been in a war with thorn bushes… they were scarred, cut and grazed from the dense forests. At the end of the beach he was a spent force and he seized the opportunity to submerge himself in a rock pool before pushing on for the line.
Joe Grant unfortunately had a very restricted run due to spraining his ankle the previous day. Joe ran and finished the stage, but any chance of a podium place is now gone. Joe’s misfortune opened up a door way for the local Costa Rican talent, and they currently hold third (Ashur Youssefi), fourth (Roiny Villegas) with Speedgoat Karl in 5th overall.
In the ladies race, Anna Frost ran a smart day matching Veronica Bravo step-by-step. From the moment they started, till the moment they crossed the finish line, the duo never left each other’s side. In many respects, Frosty can run this way all the way to the end now and play safe. The question mark will come if Veronica feels strong one day and takes a risk to pull back the time between the two of them? This is always a risky tactic, push too hard and you may blow up opening a doorway for third place to gain time.
Nikki Kimball once again placed third on the stage running as solidly as ever. The heat had taken its toll. But then again, every runner showed very clearly the drain from the course and the weather on their faces. Tough terrain, relentless heat and high humidity make for a brutal combination and this is what sets The Coastal Challenge apart from other multi-day races. It really is tough!
*Images to follow when we can find some wii
- Iain Don Wauchope – South Africa – 4:43:12
- Mike Murphey – Canada- 4:59:17
- Ashur Yussefi – Costa Rica – 5:30:55
- Anna Frost – Australia – 6:25:02
- Veronica Bravo – Chile – 6:25:02
- Nikki Kimball -USA – 6:52:58