The Course

Route Overview

Here is a route profile from a previous year’s race. The 2023 route will be unveiled later in the year. Participants are provided with the entire Route Book upon registration.

Race Facts:

Length of Race: 6 Days Distance:  Approximately 240 kilometers (depending on camp placement and other logistical factors) Location:  The course is set along Costa Rica’s tropical Pacific coastline but weaves at times into the Talamancas, a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of the country. You’ll finish near the border of Panama in a serene fishing village that until recently was only accessible by boat. Terrain:  Jungle and rainforest trails, mountain trail and single track across ridgelines, highlands and coastal ranges; beaches, rocky outcroppings and reefs, river and estuary crossings, and ends in Corcovado National Park, one of the premier rainforest experiences in the world as well as a Unesco World Heritage site. Much, much more. It really defies description!

Route Book

Detailed maps of the course – a PDF ‘Route Book’ – will be sent out to registered competitors but a previous year’s book can be downloaded HERE. This is just to give you an idea of what to expect.  The maps include distance information, aid station placement and elevation profiles. Competitors will also receive a hard copy version at registration/check, which will include course information gathered by the Course Designer and Race Director as well as recommendations from our Advisory Board. (The Advisory Board has a newly appointed member, Jim Mandelli. Jim is a veteran Coastal Challenge competitor and AR athlete with a comprehensive grasp of the events’ unique hybrid appeal as well as its evolution and goals.) Distances are measured using a surveyor’s wheel, GPS and / or odometer. Each day will vary from 18k to 60k in length. Where possible we attempt to stagger the distances and difficulty so hard days are separated by shorter, comparatively easier days (recovery days.) The course will be marked and critical direction points will be staffed. However there may be times where not paying attention at a turn off may result in you going off route. We mark the route for a good distance after each turn, so if after a division in the trail you don’t see flagging tape or painted marker, you may need to backtrack. When there is no course marking or tape the trail is usually very intuitive. Markers will be discussed during the pre-race meeting. These markers will be highly visible and consist of cones, flagging tape, or spray painted symbols. Staff placement will vary depending on the stage but they will normally be found at critical directional points or aid stations. Re-supply, medical and staff vehicles will travel to aid stations or road access areas monitoring the race. The aid stations, plus several other reference points in your ‘Race Guide’ or your own GPS will be the only way to determine your location on route. In order to create a point-to point-race that covers varied terrain and 200+ kilometers of distance over 6 days, there will be areas where dirt roads are unavoidable. However, we make every effort to steer clear of paved roads and continue exploring routes that will provide a variety of running surfaces and as much rugged running adventure as possible! The race will certainly include rainforest areas, mountain ranges, cloud forest, open land, trails, beaches, rocky outcroppings/reefs and river crossings.


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