Dozens of racers will brave hot but beautiful beaches and tropical forest tomorrow during the fourth annual Jungleman marathon and half-marathon in Puerto Viejo, on the southern Caribbean coast.
The longer race,which coordinators bill as “a totally off-road adventure marathon without a single meter on road or pavement,” is run mostly on the beach, with a nine-mile stretch of shaded jungle trail.
The unique location attracts competitors from all over the world, who come for its beauty but also to test their skills in the heat and humidity of a course that never strays from sea level. To combat the oppressive heat, all participants are required to carry at least one bottle or backpack of water.
Checkpoints every four miles offer refills and medical stations to ensure participants’ good health.
The course traverses CahuitaNational Park, whose light-sand beaches and abundant wildlife make it unique in Costa Rica and Central America.
As of Monday, more than 100 competitors had signed up for the three categories (men, women and master) in the half- and full marathons. Participants hail from Costa Rica, Italy, Guatemala, Canada, Panama and the United States, among others.
Last year’s general category marathon winner, Javier Montero, finished the race in 3:31:01, or slightly more than seven minutes per mile.
The race is scheduled to begin at Puerto Viejo at 7 a.m. tomorrow. For more information, visit www.adventurerace.com/jungleman/eng/information.htm.