Cesar Ortega continues to lead in Costa Rica.
Written By: Greg Dawson
Despite heavy overnight rains making for tough muddied trails and more than 12,000 feet of elevation change, Ty Stevens (USA) took a hefty lead over fourth place runner Victor Zuniga (CRC).
Stevens’ training in the Pigah Mountains outside of his hometown in North Carolina had him well positioned for the multiple hill climbs on day two of The Coastal Challenge. His trail training through six inches of snow this past winter was a major factor in keeping his balance on the trail as well.
“These trails have been some of the most difficult I’ve experienced and the 38 miles I traversed today were no exception,” remarked Stevens. “Sometimes you don’t know if you’re going to make it through to day six, but then you’re running through rivers one minute and jungles the next and to me it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Trailing leader and newcomer Cesar Ortega (CRC) by mere minutes through checkpoint one, Stevens’ continued his adventure trek over one of Costa Rica’s most rugged mountainous ranges along the continental divide.
New to this type of stage adventure race, Stevens’ competitive background consists of several marathons, a few triathlons and a 30-mile ultra marathon. Until stage two, he had yet to run more than 30 miles.
“Pushing myself beyond what I’ve explored to date was a huge accomplishment for me today, said Stevens. “Costa Rica has been the perfect setting for my first multi-day event.”
Leading the women’s division through stage two and breaking into the top five overall, Canadian Judith Abbot overtook day one leader Margaret Phillips (USA) prior to checkpoint one. Showing no signs of fatigue, Abbot is fast becoming favored to win the overall women’s division.
“This is the most challenging race I’ve competed in,” said Abbot. “Even though it’s a tough race, I look around at the volcanos, hills and lakes and realize I’m in Costa Rica having a wonderful time.”
The sense of camaraderie within the adventure racing community is very apparent at The Coastal Challenge.
“We had a moment,” said Stevens. “Halfway through the first river crossing I was going down and Cesar immediately grabbed my pack and kept me from the drink. It really spoke to me about the local Tico culture and the type of person running the Challenge.”
Two steps later, Stevens helped Ortega who took the misstep this time.
“It’s just that type of community and I would have done it for anyone of the racers,” finished Stevens.
Top five overall times for stage two of The Coastal Challenge: Cesar Ortega (CRC) 6:27:08, Javier Montero (CRC) 6:38:03, Ty Stevens (USA) 7:33:33, Mark Lattansi (USA) 8:45:40 and Judith Abbot (CANADA) 9:02:25.
For more information or to follow the race, visit www.tccadventures.com.