Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Costa Rica 2011: Getting to Go Time

Whew… Well, we left for the San Jose airport yesterday at 10:00 AM and pulled up to our house in Philly at 1:30 this morning.

After a short night’s sleep and a few hours of sorting through mail, sweeping up dog hair, and shopping for groceries, it’s beginning to feel like business as usual around here.


So!  Where did I leave off?  Since you all know the outcome of the race at this point, let me tell you how we got there.

We arrived in Costa Rica on Friday morning, June 24, and after an afternoon of buying race food and a night of sorting gear, we settled in for our last pre-race sleep.

The next day, we got ourselves and our stuff out on the curb of our hostel promptly at 9:00 AM, as instructed.

45 minutes later (welcome to Tico Time), we were picked up by race staff and whisked away to La Ciudad Toyota.  Aside from the Costa Rica government, Toyota was the biggest sponsor of the race, and so opening and closing ceremonies were to be held at the San Jose Toyota factory, or Toyota City.

None of us knew quite what to expect when we pulled into the large complex.  What we encountered, was a show.

There were giant mud-splattered trucks on display…


…and there were eco-manequins ready to ride off into the sunset.


In total, there were 17 teams representing 15 different countries.  Though there were some amateur teams on the roster, many were professionally sponsored and internationally ranked.  There were world championship teams and several more worlds qualifiers.  This was a stacked field getting ready to race in a country that clearly took adventure racing seriously.

Unlike in the US, where most races fall pretty firmly into the grassroots camp, this one was a media spectacle.  The race was being covered by several regional and national outlets, as well as ESPN Latin America.

Bruce's ESPN debut

The morning passed with speeches, sponsorship thank yous, team photos, and map previews.

Antonio De La Rosa, one of the race organizers and once one of the top adventure racers in the world

Not to mention a few hours of hanging around and trying to adjust to the heat and humidity...

From Toyota City, we were bussed to Hotel Sueño Azul in the town of Sarapiqui, where we would spend the next two days meeting the other teams and getting race-ready.

Ali on the bus, with the jungle passing by

There were more interviews…

My 15 seconds of fame - the entire Radio Zoom interview was conducted en espanol!

There was lots of gear to sort…

There were trees to plant, a gesture toward sustainability from a sport committed to environmental responsibility…


And there were snakes to decipher.

This guy is not poisonous. You can tell by his big eyes... if you can get that close.

This guy, on the other hand, has enough venom in his mouth to kill 32 people... We would see him again later in our trip.

Finally, at 7:00 on Monday morning, it was time to race…


12 responses to “Costa Rica 2011: Getting to Go Time

  1. Sarah S @RunningOnWords July 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I’m so excited about your recaps! I take it the snake training is a precautionary measure?

  2. runlikeagirljp@gmail.com July 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I am loving all of this, how exciting! It’s a liot bigger event than I realized – ESPN?!?! You are now famous!! 🙂

  3. the dawn July 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    ummm, i’m not sure my heart rate can handle the phrase, “enough venom in his mouth to kill 32 people.” just sayin’. can’t wait to hear more!!!

  4. Kara July 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    The English major in me loves the foreshadowing of the snake picture caption 🙂

  5. Angela K. July 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Bummer about the DNF but it looks like an amazing trip and experience. So cool. And if I needed to know that much about snakes I don’t think I’d be leaving the hotel.

  6. Anne July 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I’m really enjoying this photo recap…sounds like a really amazing event!

  7. kari w/ Running Ricig July 8, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Sounds like a really cool event! You guys got to be famous! 🙂

  8. mallory July 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Awesome pictures!!!

  9. Kim (Book Worm Runs) July 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Sooo cool!!! And yeah, a snake that has enough venom to kill 32 people…holy cow!! Can’t wait to hear more! 🙂

  10. Denise July 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

    ugh…you left me hanging…

  11. Anonymous July 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    cool!! Don’t leave us hanging for too long!!
    – Patty

  12. Pingback: Costa Rica 2011: Paddle, Bike, Repeat « Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

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