Stephanie Brealey is a member of the District Multisport Team who recently participated in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica
I don't believe I have ever written a a proper race report - so bear with me. Usually my "reports" consist of a bunch of notes on how things went (the good, the bad, and the ugly) so that Coach may have extra info for the next race.
A year+ ago when Ironman announced that they were going to have an event in Costa Rica, I immediately knew I would be adding the race to my schedule. When registration came, I was on it immediately - even tweeting at Ironman since the link they had activated was not working. The thought of being able to race home with my family and friends was exhilarating.
Race was scheduled for the 18th of June, so as anyone would, I told my boss that I would be working from Costa Rica (even if he didn't approve it) and would be going home for a total of about 3.5 weeks (I have a great job). Since we had a mild winter and a cooler spring it was important for me to head out there and try and workout in higher temps.
On the Thursday before the race I drove 3.5 hrs to Coco Beach (Pacific coast) where the race would take place. Coco beach is a well developed beach town that has everything one needs. I decided to stay in a hotel right on the main road - not the prettiest, but perfect location.
[If you decide that this race is for you - you may arrive at Liberia airport which is a 20 minute drive to Coco].
If you know anything about Costa Rica you would know that June falls in the rainy season. This means that it will rain every single day, that temps are on the higher end and that it will be humid. In addition to this, this year there was some sort of storm coming from Colombia that made it an even wetter month, specially in the coast.
As for the race:
Ironman Village was excellent. They made sure that athletes had everything they would need (at expo). Plenty of mechanics working on bikes and Tri Transport was also there.
Swim. The swim took place around the "marina" (use this term loosely as there is no actual structure, rather it is just were the fishermen boats are anchored) so it is well protected. This year it was reported there would be jellyfish (I applied vaseline on a practice swim and then sea safe during race day and was fine). This beach is well known for being FLAT. No waves, no current, no trouble.
T1 & 2: took place in the same soccer field (that looked like a giant mud pit since it had been raining non stop for days). A short run into the field and off you went.
Bike: The course is pretty flattish and fast. There is one big climb (about 0.5 miles) as you leave town. After you climb you descend and ride your way into small neighboring towns. During this section there are some speed bumps along the way which you need to be careful but other than that enjoy the ride - you may even see a monkey!
Run: I believe it was advertised as fast and flat. It was nothing of the sort. Yes, there were some flat sections, and if you are a fast runner you could go fast... but the rest of us were going up and down, and up and down. The run course is along the neighborhoods of the town so there were lots of turns making it difficult to know if you had been there or not. Course is a 2.5 loop which had some trail and sand running. The view when you are running on the trail portion is spectacular, as you are running parallel to the beach.
1. Ironman Village was great - the expo had everything an athlete would need.
2. Volunteers and locals were amazing. I've only seen this many people in Cozumel.
3. If you can race in hot and humid conditions this race is FUN.
4. After you race you are in the Guanacaste province which has some of the most beautiful beaches there are, very easy to go and explore other places and make a vacation out of your trip.
If you want more details, email me offline. It has been confirmed that the race will take place next year, they have yet to give the date though. I will most likely be heading down again as I can't say no to spending 3+ weeks home while "working".