THE COASTAL CHALLENGE: TIM OLSON & FELICITAS CHARPIN WIN IN COSTA RICA.

The 17th edition of The Coastal Challenge has come to an end. 240km and 9,200m of elevation gain in 35º+ heat and high tropical rainforest humidity has made it a true challenge for everyone.

The Coastal Challenge is certainly not for the faint of heart. It’s a mystic challenge through the tropical rainforest crossing mountains, rivers, beaches and reef. Encountering water crossings, dust, mud, rain and sun on the way. It’s a race like no other. A test of willpower and resilience. For racers, for organizers. This year was not the exception, the runners able to make it through their respective country regulations experienced first hand an extraordinary adventure.

The Coastal Challenge. Photo: Andres Vargas

For the international field, experienced racer Tim Olson came for a second try at #TheCoastalChallenge. Three years ago he suffered a fall on a steep descent on Stage 4 and had to, literally, crawl away from the race and into the hospital.

This year Olson led stages 1 and 2 followed closely by Guatemalan Gabriel Bianchi, who went all out from the start but after Stage 2 had to step off the boat due to injury. Leaving Costa Ricans Erick Agüero and Cesar Lizano in 2nd and 3rd position. 

Past the Nauyaca Falls on Stage 3 Costa Rican Erick Agüero led the crew looking at closing the gap between him and Olson. This was Agüero’s fourth Coastal and he’s known for technical river running, much of what the start of the stage was all about. Erick pushed on all the way to the finish line, taking the stage win.

Stage 4 came with memories for Olson, the 34 km stage holds over 2,000 meters of total elevation gain and finished off with the technical downhill that meant the end of the race for Olson three years ago. This year, Tim was victorious. 

Tim Olson at The Coastal Challenge. Photo: Andres Vargas

Olsen took stage 5 yet you could see the race taking a toll on him although he had a comfortable lead over Erick Agüero in second place and last year’s adventure category winner, César Lizano. Costa Rican olympian runner now taking a shot at the full distance. 

Lizano won his first stage the sixth day with a comfortable lead over Erick Agüero who came in second place yet not enough to climb to second place.  Tim Olson came in third place and held to the highest slot on the podium. Olson y the new Costal Challenge Champion.  In the girls field Argentinian, Felicitas Charpin’s first ever Coastal Challenge suited her well. Also her first multi staged race and certainly one to remember. She is TCC’s new champion. 

Charpin was followed by Guatemalan Garbriela Molina in second place and Costa Rican Laura Meza in third. Molina has raced TCC five times and is an experienced adventure racers. This was Meza’s first Coastal.

PHOTO BY ORGANITAZION THE COASTAL CHALLENGE BY Andres Vargas

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Post by Héctor Rubio for Trailrunningspain