Friday, January 25, 2008

TCC Day -1: vamos a Costa Rica, ¡pura vida!

Here we are, time to fly down to Costa Rica! The whole Saturday on the plane, San Francisco to Phoenix, AZ, then San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Then one night in San Jose before getting on the bus at 5am, driving North to Fortuna in the Alajuela province (you can see my guess of the various starts and finishes of the stages in Google Earth, if you have it installed, or Google Map, in your browser).
It feels strange to leave the Bay Area which finally got a cold and rainy weather and fly to a warm area in their dry season, although dry there means more humid than here! For sure the locals will have an advantage over everyone else flying in. Not to mention I'm leaving with a cold and a knee which has been bothering me for a month now (not surprisingly though as I keep running reasonably hard on this inflammation...). And it also feels strange to leave for a week of vacation, leaving the family behind.

The turn out for this event has not been as good as previous years: 33 in the Expedition Run (the long version and the one I'm on, of course!), and 9 in the Adventure Run. With very few runners coming back from last year, but the favorite, local German Kurt Lindermuller. Looking forward to the first run to see if I can stick with him so I don't get lost (course is usually not fully marked and he knows it for having ran it last year) or I run a la Scott, with the camera in my hand.

In addition to reading some articles and Bev's post on Scott's blog, I got briefed by former participants, Chuck Wilson, Christine Miller and Bev Anderson-Abbs herself. So I feel as ready as I can on the logistics side and look forward to this new physical and mental challenge, since this is really a first for me (6-day of racing and camping for a week).
Testing the tent, at home...

At the same time, I'm ready to take it easy and enjoy this wonderful region of the world, in this thin connector between the two Americas. Chuck was thinking of coming back this year but got tempted by another raid in Vietnam at the end of February. And Chris is now preparing for her next challenge, the UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) for which she got her slot two weeks ago!
With Chuck and Chris at the start of Ruth Anderson 50-mile in March 2007

GSM connectivity will likely be very limited, if any, during our week in the rain forest. If possible, I will send updates to the family which they can relay on the blog, and you will get the pictures later if all goes well (meaning I don't lose my camera or get it stolen... the ones who know about our tribulations in Costa Rica in January 2006 will see what I mean...). Otherwise, the Coastal Challenge website should post updates in the meantime. Check the LeaderBoard page out! The run starts this Sunday, stay tuned...

¡Pura Vida!
A much larger drop bag than Western States: a 24-gallon ActionPacker!

8 comments:

willgotthardt said...

¡Buena suerte Jean!

I'll be following along.

Will G.

Vincent said...

Bonne course, Jean! Je suivrai tes aventures dès que possible.

Amitiés,

Vincent

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Shoot, looks like I have to use something other than English, and Will took espanol. Gambatte ne!

Michael Kanning said...

Since we are in bilingual mode...

¡Divíertate, Jean! Te enviaré buenas "vibes" el domingo que viene. Quiso que podía estar allí tambíen, Costa Rica suena increíble. ¡Tomes fotos!

Have fun, Jean! I'll send you good vibes on Sunday. Wish I could be there too, Costa Rica sounds incredible. Take pictures!

-Michael

stuwas said...

Jean, a pleasure to meet you at TCC! You're an amazing athlete and a real gentleman. I am thrilled that you represent short men in such a big way! Best of luck in the coming months as you prepare for Western States.

Stuart, Charlotte,NC

Steve Bremner said...

Jean,

Really enjoyed meeting you and competing with you over the last week. What a great experience! I'm home now and settling into the world of news, headlines, work, and school... Fortunately we have our running to keep us sane!

Best Regards,

Steve

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

Congratulations on your outstanding performance! looking forward to that race report

Jean Pommier said...

Thanks, guys! That was a wonderful experience and will share impressions as soon as possible this week or next weekend.
Just flew back last night (Sunday) and back to work for now (tough...).

Jean.