Trail Running in Costa Rica

“Trail Running in Costa Rica” was written by Daniel FLEYGNAC, participant of ULTRA RUN ARENAL VOLCANO 2015 and Marathon Irazu Volcano

COSTA RICA, a small country of Central America wedged between Panama and Nicaragua, currently in vogue for tourism, the practice of trail begins in recent years thanks to organizations like Costaricarace directed by Philippe Bukovec. Installed for over ten years in this country, Philippe managed to promote the trail to the “Ticos”, through hes organizations, including the ultra of ARENAL (115km) and the marathon of Irazu, 2 competitions major at monthly intervals which are associated in the same day a semi, a 10 and a 5 km, all things on the trail.

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February 7, 3 am, departure of ultra around Lake Arenal, local “Ticos”, American, Canadian and other nationalities take to the track for the 115km journey that will lead them through the rainforest, and perhaps they will see howler monkeys, toucans or a sloth and under the watchful eye of the majestic Arenal volcano culminating at 1663m. This tour of the lake is not a part of same pleasure if rolling because at the end, the riders will have faced an elevation gain of 2200m in hot weather during the day the runners will cross several rivers at the end of term whose last 3 km from the finish line, secured by a rope, will be particularly epic for night arrivals. Local Roby Tosso prevails in 12h 30 ‘with a certain freshness while among women it is the Quebec Sandra Baribeau who crosses the finish line after 4:44 p.m.’ effort. Version 2016 will see a change of the route, distance and will take place over two days on march 12 and 13 with 80km and 51km, only in the tropical jungle in order to attract more participants on somewhat shorter distances.

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Another approach to the trail on March 7 with IRAZU marathon, named after the volcano (3432m) which will follow tracks, cross private plantations with slopes percentage at certain times and in the heat. The start is in Tres Rios (1290m), a suburb of the capital San Jose, with a fictitious starting to cross the Saturday market smoothly then attack uninterrupted 17km climb before knowing respite for 5 km. The finish line will take place in San Juan de Chicua at 2800m altitude but before the riders will have the opportunity to do a loop that will be brought to the 3036m. The Tico Alfredo Sanchez Ramirez wins in 4:58 ‘and in female, victory Agentine Eugenia D’Angelo 6:14’. The day will end with the other 3 Trails (21, 10 and 5) played at night (it’s night at 18h) to the front, prized by the Costa Rican events.

The 2016 edition will be held on April 9 with the addition of a 23 km marathon and of course the night with 15,10 and 5km. More information available at:

Costa Rica Race is an ATRA Single-track member.