Stage Two of The Coastal Challenge Splits Field
Course Moves from Humid and Overcast to Dry and Windy
Fierce winds and intense heat tested competitors who covered up to 60 km today during the second stage of The Coastal Challenge, The Worldâ€™s Expedition Raceâ„¢. Out of the 61 Expedition category runners who started the race, only 43 remain in the full 200-km category after 11 fell to the Adventure Run category for failing to reach a mandatory cutoff during the weekâ€™s longest stage. The shorter Adventure Run category now includes 18 total runners.
Competitors launched from Rancho Margo crossing thigh-high rivers before scurrying through dense jungle, across dry grasslands and onto a dusty and hot finish in Tierra Morenas.
Local favorite Juan Carlos Zuniga again held strong to stay on top of the menâ€™s Expedition category, finishing todayâ€™s stage in 5:57:34. Juan Carlos said todayâ€™s route was the toughest one-day course he expects to experience this week. He said the final seven-km uphill run was the most difficult because of exposure to strong cross winds, which gusted upwards of more than 50 mph, and the beating sun. The 50-km he previously trekked that day certainly didnâ€™t help either.
Second place went to Kurt Lindermeyer of Munich, Germany, who moved up to second overall. Trevor Garner of Victor, Idaho, took third in the day and moved up to tie for third overall with Roger Rojas of San Jose, Costa Rica.
Beverly Abbs of the United States held first place for the womenâ€™s Expedition category setting the pace at 6:52:10. Following in second and third place were Ligia Madrigal of Costa Rica (7:47:40) and Meghan Hicks of Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, (8:30:09) respectively.
Competitors found strength in each other on the long and hot trail. When Dot Helling climbed to the third checkpoint feeling drained, fellow racer Christine Miller pushed Dot to join her for the remainder of the trek. With a little encouragement and a lightened mood, Dot and Christine teamed up to grind through the final 17-km stretch.
Other Expedition Runners were not so fortunate. Dot and Christine were the last to reach the mandatory cut off for the Expedition category. The 18 racers who did not make the safety cut off will now move to the Adventure Run category to continue for the rest of the week.
The longest day behind them, runners prepare to move farther north into more intense heat – both from the environment and from the faster pace that will come from somewhat shorter days.Â
PLEASE NOTE: Adventure Category winners were not calculated at the time of this posting. Complete details can be found on the full Leaderboard at the Raceâ€™s Checkpoint Tracker.