Saturday, 15 February 2014

Day 6 (TCC2014): Victory Loop

Can you believe it?! It's already Day 6: the last day!! Whaaaaaaa?! How did that happen? Our bodies feel like they beg to differ as we feel great aside from a little bit of chaffing on my back, itchy bug bites and a rash that won't quit! Joel's blister bandages have held up nicely and are healing... how does running more in wet shoes heal blisters? It must be one of the jungle mysteries of Costa Rica. Anyways, we started the morning off like any other morning, except for one amazing aspect... WE DIDN'T NEED TO TAKE DOWN OUR TENT AND REPACK OUR GEAR!! BOOOOOOOYA! Who would have thought victory would taste so sweet?! Hahahah. We put on our Canadian Uniforms with sponsors on the back.. Nothing like showing off our colours and sponsors: Nutrition House Robson Street, Kintec and North Shore Athletics. We also zip-tied our mini Canadian flags to our camelback to add even more patriotism! Furthermore, we even packed a full size Canadian flag to fly as we ran through the finish line. We are from Canada, eh?
Starting view

The race started on the beautiful beach at Drake Bay, which also happened to be the finish line as we were to complete a 24km loop as our final victory loop. The sun broke and the runners were off! We were only running along the beach for a short amount of time before we headed off onto a gravel road. This road was questionable.. and then something magic happened.. We were transported into the Jungle Book. Mogulie and Baloo would have been proud!! Within 100m we splashed into a river which we then ran upstream for a few kilometres. This is when things got WILD! NOOOW we were talking!!

This was our first time running ankle to knee deep continuously in rivers. It was amazing!!! Splish, splash, pass!!! We had some fine speed here and then turned off into a single track jungle trail. We did a little climbing through this dense jungle trail and our ears heard something.. soothing! Is that a sound machine? NO! It's real!! It was the sounds of a gorgeous waterfall that we had been told about in the prerace chat. We were stunned by its beauty and excited about being able to cross under it. There were volunteers helping runners cross and guide them with a rope to prevent people from being carried away or slipping on rocks.

After crossing the river, there was a long steep section of hill that was to be the hardest section of the race course today. Shanny pulled up her big girl pants and carried herself up it following Joel's Canada flag streaming out behind him. Taaadaaaa! Good job legs!

Then it was time for a bit more road that we weren't as excited for and once again this was a challenging section for Joel. We'll have to take turns swapping legs.. he can do my hills and I can do his road. Lol! After pulling up his big boy pants he carried himself through the road section and we dove into a nice river to cool off. Ahhhhhhhh!

We knew we had a good time and prevailed to make the descent with the beach in sight. Therefore, knowing the end was near we pushed on and got pushed back once we made it to the beach by some loose sand that had every desire to steal our shoes.. probably cuz they are awesome. It was a struggle, but it was intermixed with single trail so that made it fun on the spots we could run as this single track was very similar to what we run back at home in Vancouver. All together the course was extremely runnable and awesome!!!

Finish line in sight we took out the Canadian flag and prepared to fly it high as we pounded through the finish line, completing the most physically and mentally challenging, exciting and adventurous  thing we have ever done!!! I don't know what was a better feeling.. stepping over that line knowing we had done it together and won, or hearing those three magic words, "I love you," that every girl is dying to hear for the first time as we hugged in the ocean right after crossing the finish line! To be honest.. probably the "I love you," but it made it even that much sweeter knowing what we had just done together- winning a race that pushed us to our limits and having the biggest experience of our lives. Apparently Joel had been waiting for months to tell me this on this particular day! What a romantic man  I have!!! After lots of happy tears and "I love you's" back, we were awarded with our finisher medals and got the complete sense of victory!

We won the race with a time of 21hrs and ran over 150km!! We not only won our categories, male and female, but became the FIRST COUPLE ever to win the Coastal Challenge Adventure Category. Now that's one amazing COUPLE OF RUNNERS!! hahaha (that's our name for promoting healthy active lifestyles and one of the logo's on our shirts) We were awarded an original handcrafted Boruca mask as a trophy!! It is incredible!!!

We are so thankful for this opportunity to run this race and do the hardest, most mentally and physically challenging thing we have ever done. It was a great adventure and we are so grateful to all the wonderful staff, volunteers, runners, kitchen staff and everyone else involved that made it such a special experience. Everyone was so nice and generous and passionate about what they are doing.
Boruca Masks

We are pleased to announce that raised around $3500 for the BC Cancer Foundation in honour of Joel's mom, who is happily in remission after fighting through colon cancer. She was our inspiration, but we also did this for so many others that are close to us that are fighting the same battle and those that we don't know. We are still accepting donations through the BC Cancer Foundation at our campaign site: Running 4 a Cause. (100% non profit as always)




Thanks so much and we miss you all already!!

Love and happy feet,

Shanny and Joel


Us with the amazing Kitchen and nutrition staff!!

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