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Central & South American events
Event forums > Central & South American events > The Coastal Challenge 2019 View modes: 
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SarahCrunning - 06/02/2019 23:26:18
   
The Coastal Challenge 2019
The Coastal Challenge (TCC) is known locally as the 'Rainforest Run', and this Sunday will see the start of the 15th edition. It is a 6-stage race taking place between 10th and 16th February and is run along Costa Rica's Pacific coastline.

The route and stages vary each year, but it is roughly 236km/147 miles which typically include 2 or 3 'ultra' days of more than 26.2 miles. Runners can enter as individuals or teams and choose either the Expedition or Adventure category.

The Expedition runners run the full course against the cut-offs, but can drop down to the Adventure category during the race if needed. The Adventure category is typically around 155km. Both categories are supported - there is food and water at checkpoints, and luggage is transported to overnight camps.

This is all designed to ensure that the event is achievable for runners of a range of abilities. It attracts some well-known names at the elite end, but is also a fantastic adventure for those who want or need to take things more slowly.

The route weaves in and out of the Talamancas and offers great variety - a real mix of jungle, alpine and trail running. Entrants will run along beaches, pass reefs, cross clear river estuaries and climb rocky outcrops to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Corcovado National Park and home to a spectacular rainforest.

Despite the support, this race is definitely a challenge. Temperatures can reach 35 degrees C, and the humidity is intense. the total elevation gain is over 34,000 feet. Our reviewers suggest it is well worth it - we have 10 reviews which all awarded the race 4 or 5 stars.

The 2018 event was full of drama. Marcus Scotney was on track for a podium place until he accidentally made a navigation error that disqualified him. Tom Evans and Hayden Hawks were virtually neck and neck in almost every stage. In the end, Tom finished with a new course record of 21:44:11 - just 4 minutes faster than Hayden Hawks. Ragna Debats smashed the female course record with a time of 26:14:39.

The 2019 event looks set to be even more exciting. There is an $8000 reward purse. Each day, $250 is available if stage records are broken. If either course record is broken, the winner will receive $2500.

The elite line-up is looking phenomenal. Marcus Scotney is back with unfinished business from last year, and Ragna Debats is back to defend her record. They will face some great competition, including Jordi Gamito (winner of the Everest Trail Race), Lucy Bartholomew (winner of the Big Red Run at the age of 17, and 3rd in WS100 last year), Ida Nilsson (CR holder, Transvulcania), Holly Page (Sky World Series Classic Series winner) and Lina and Sanna El Kolt (winners of the TransAlpineRun 2017 and 2018).

Will be following the event and aiming to bring you photos from the race, so keep an eye on our Twitter feed and Instagram.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 10/02/2019 22:18:27
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
Reception is patchy in the jungle, and we have limited information so far from Stage 1. However, we do know that this is the first time ever that a female has finished a stage first. Ida Nilsson won the stage in 2:42 (ahead of Marcus Scotney). What an exciting start to the event!
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 11/02/2019 15:40:15
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
The Stage 1 results are really exciting, with both Ida Nilsson and Holly Page breaking the previous female stage 1 record (held by Anna Frost). The top 6 consisted of 3 men and 3 women, and included 2 UK athletes:

1. Ida Nilsson - 2:44:35
2. Marcus Scotney - 2:45:11
3. Pere Aurell - 2:53:00
4. Holly Page (2nd female) - 3:04:33
5. Jorgey Paniagua (3rd male) - 3:13:13
6. Ragna Debats (3rd female) - 3:20:22

Reports are that temperatures were high, but it was not as humid as last year. Marcus Scotney and Pere Aurell were leading through the early, flatter miles. Marcus gained the upper hand in the rainforest, but Ida caught him on the final summit and was very strong on the climbs. Ragna seemed to suffer with the heat, allowing Holly Page to overtake and claim the second female spot.

It looks like this year is going to be an epic race. Today's Stage 2 consists on 41km from the Savegre River Valley to the coastal town of Dominical. We await the results.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 11/02/2019 19:30:27
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
These were the top 3 men and women in today's Stage 2. Marcus Scotney's second today puts him in the lead overall, but there is time for things to change. Another exciting day and we are awaiting further details of how the race played out.

MEN - Stage 2
1. Pere Aurell - 3:47:28
2. Marcus Scotney - 3:53:30
3. Jorge Paniagua - 4:00:12

WOMEN - Stage 2
1. Ida Nilsson (5th overall) - 4:08:46
2. Ragna Debats (6th overall) - 4:19:13
3. Holly Page (8th overall) - 4:27:44
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 11/02/2019 22:33:44
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
We have some further updates from Stage 2 courtesy of Steve Diedrich and Ian Corless. A number of runners are really struggling with the heat, but all are being well looked after. Today's stage started with a tough climb, and Pere Aurell was able to get a good lead straight away. Jorge Paniagua and Maikol Cruz were initially close together in second and third and dealing well with the technical trail (they are both local). Marcus Scotney was behind them.

Ida Nilsson led the women's field from the outset. She was chased by Ragna Debats who was feeling better than yesterday. Holly Page wasn't far behind but reported not feeling too well during the first half of the stage.

Marcus was able to overtake Jorge and Maikol, and his comfortable lead over Pere in Stage 1 meant he did enough to now be first overall. Their times are now close enough for the next few days to be interesting!

Ida's time again broke the female stage course record set by Ragna last year. Ragna was over 10 minutes behind but looking strong. Holly reported feeling better in the second half and finished as third female.

Tomorrow's Stage 3 is a tough 47.4km from Dominical Beach to Bahia Ballena.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 12/02/2019 18:48:04
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
Ida Nilsson now has a hat-trick of stage course records. She completed today's Stage 3 as first female and second overall. She is now only 3 minutes behind Marcus Scotney in the cumulative times from the first 3 days.

Pere Aurell was the overall stage winner again, with Marcus finishing fourth (behind Ida and Ragna Debats). Marcus now has almost 20 minutes to make up if he wants to retake the top spot. There are three more stages, so nothing is certain.

These were the top 6 today (3 men and 3 women):

1. Pere Aurell - 5:10:55
2. Ida Nilsson (1st female) - 5:20:27
3. Ragna Debats (2nd female) - 5:31:20
4. Marcus Scotney (2nd male) - 5:32:10
5. Holly Page (3rd female) - 5:32:50
6. Jorge Paniagua (3rd male) - 5:38:51

Great to see such a strong female field!
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 12/02/2019 23:02:53
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
Some more detailed updates from Stage 3:

This stage is hilly and technical in places. Pere Aurell seemed unstoppable in the early miles and is well-suited to technical trails. He struggled during the final road section, but had opened up enough of a lead to still finish first despite some walking towards the end. He is now first in the general classification.

Marcus appeared to struggle today and was initially behind Jorge Paniagua. There are reports that Marcus was suffering from an injured toe but determined to tough it out. He was able to claw back some time in the more runnable later miles and put in a strong finish 6 minutes ahead of Jorge.

Ida Nilsson and Ragna Debats battled head to head in the early miles, with Holly Page hot on their heels - these three are incredibly strong! Ida ramped up the pace on the flatter sections to open up a good lead over Ragna and Holly and finish second overall.

Holly put in a strong finish to narrow the gap between her and Ragna. Ida is now third in the general classification, but close enough to Marcus's overall time to make the next few days a really exciting battle!
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 13/02/2019 18:02:47
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
We have the results (but not yet any details) from Stage 4. It's been another great day for Pere, and a first stage victory for Holly Page. Unfortunately, it looks like Marcus is suffering somewhat. He finished 8th overall (5th male) in 4:56:31.

These were the top 6:

STAGE 4
1. Pere Aurell - 4:13:25
2. Jorge Paniagua - 4:20:51
3. Holly Page (1st female) - 4:25:04
4. Ida Nilsson (2nd female) - 4:28:42
5. Jose Fabio Madrigal (3rd male) - 4:50:29
6. Ragna Debats (3rd female) - 4:55:09

This is how things stand overall after 4 stages and with 2 stages remaining:

LEADERBOARD
1. Pere Aurell - 16:04:50
2. Ida Nilsson (1st female) - 16:42:31
3. Marcus Scotney (2nd male) - 17:07:24
4. Jorge Paniagua (3rd male) - 17:13:09
5. Holly Page (2nd female) - 17:30:13
6. Ragna Debats (3rd female) - 18:06:04

Great to see an even split of men and women in the top six.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 13/02/2019 23:06:38
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
Some additional details from Stage 4, courtesy of Ian Corless:

Runners started at sea level in Coronado and covered 37.1km to Palma Sur. There is a climb of almost 100m in the first 10km, followed by many more ups and downs at consistently high levels. The final 7km is a steep descent.

Pere Aurell was once again strong from the start and led all the way, strengthening his overall lead. Behind him, Isa Nilsson, Jorge Paniagua, Marcus Scotney and Holly Page reached CP1 within seconds of each other.

Ragna has a difficult day, but Jorge and Holly were strong and went head to head for a while. In the end, Jorge opened up a 5-minute lead, but Holly finished third overall and won the stage for the female category. She broke Ragna's stage record from last year. This year's women are on fire!

Ida was only 3 minutes behind Holly, and still has a very strong lead in the women's field. She is also now second overall as Marcus is reported to have had some stomach issues, leading to a tough day.

Things are still close enough for the podium spots to shift around. Stay tuned for the final 2 stages! Tomorrow's stage covers 49km (the longest stage) from Sierpe to Drake Bay.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 14/02/2019 18:52:20
   
RE:The Coastal Challenge 2019
Stage 5 is ongoing, but the first 14 runners have finished. Ida Nilsson has won another stage outright, and Marcus Scotney seems to be making a comeback and races head to head with Jorge at the finish. These were the top 7 today:

1. Ida Nilsson - 4:45:19
2. Marcus Scotney (1st male) - 4:47:06
3. Jorge Paniagua (2nd male) - 4:47:40
4. Pere Aurell (3rd male) - 5:05:32
5. Holly Page (2nd female) - 5:13:20
6. Maikol Cruz - 5:43:50
7. Ragna Debats (3rd female) - 5:47:55

With one stage remaining, this is how the overall results look:

1. Pere Aurell - 21:10:22
2. Ida Nilsson (1st female) - 21:27:51
3. Marcus Scotney (2nd male) - 21:54:30
4. Jorge Paniagua (3rd male) - 22:00:49
5. Holly Page (2nd female) - 22:43:34
6. Ragna Debats (3rd female) - 23:54:00

Things are closer than they were yesterday, but there's still a good few minutes to make up for any changes tomorrow.
Sarah Cooke

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