The 2010 Coastal Challenge got underway over the weekend with runners from all over the planet descending on Costa Rica to compete in a 200 kilometer adventure race through the mountains, jungles, and rugged coastlines of that country. The six-day event sends endurance runners off on a different route each day, while they challenge each other and the environment around them.
After one day out on the course, two-time champion Javier Montero has already taken the lead, as he attempts to become the first person to win the race three times. Right behind him is rookie Ceasar Ortega, just two minutes back. Both Javier and Ceasar are from Costa Rica, and are currently enjoying the home turf advantage over the rest of the field. Ty Stevens (USA), Victor Zuniga (CRC) and Mark Lattansi (USA) round out the top five at the moment, while Margaret Phillips (USA) is the top female runner.
Of course, the race is just getting started, and there are still five grueling legs to go. The course will wind through the northwest coast, over volcanic highlands, past scenic lakes, and through jungle and dry forests. In fact, the runners will be tested in one of the driest areas of Costa Rica, with routes ranging from rough asphalt, to dirt roads, to twisty mountain trails, and everything in between.
The race runs through Saturday, with plenty of tough, terrain ahead. This is a great event for endurance trail runners, and in one of the best settings in the world. Wish I were there to take it all in.
Photo by J. Andres Vargas
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