Race report: The Coastal Challenge 2018 -

Ultra runner & Profeet ambassador, Tom Evans finished 3rd in the iconic Marathon des Sables last year. Since then, Tom has competed at the Eiger 101km and the CCC® in Chamonix and finished third on the Ultra Trail World Tour. We caught up with Tom to find out about his record breaking performance in the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, which he won in all stages and set a new course record record by an incredible 45 minutes.

The coastal challenge (TCC) is a multi-day ‘ultra-marathon’ or ‘ultra’ run in six days over a course of between 150 and 156 (250km) miles.

What is The Coastal Challenge?
230km, 6 days, 35 degrees, 80% humidity…. Sounds like a lot of fun! TCC was always going to be a tough race because of the heat and humidity. Then add some of the best ultra-runners from the USA: Hayden Hawkes, Mike Wardian, Tim Olson and Marcus Scotney from the U.K. the race was going to be HOT!!

I am supported by St Mary’s University Twickenham which allows me to stay in peak shape in the build-up to a race. I have been increasing my S&C to get a really strong core and improve my ankle mobility and strength. This has really helped me on the trails as the ground is so uneven. I also spent time in their state of the art heat chamber. I would run for 60mins every other day in 35 degrees. The idea is to get efficient at sweating… I know, it doesn’t sound that appealing, but it makes such a huge difference. I also supplemented my heat training with some hot yoga.

I spent some time looking at my hydration needs. I have been working with Precision Hydration over the past 6 months and I now understand my sodium requirements to stay hydrated in long races.

The Race

  • Stage 1 – 34.6km (1018m ascent, 886m descent)
  • Stage 2 – 39.1km (1898m ascent, 1984m descent)
  • Stage 3 – 47.4km (1781m ascent, 1736m descent)
  • Stage 4 – 37.1km (2466m ascent, 2424m descent)
  • Stage 5 – 49.8km (1767m ascent, 1770m descent)
  • Stage 6 – 22.5km (613m ascent, 613m descent)

Find out more about the coastal challenge course

Every stage starts at sunrise so it’s cooler. Once the sun comes up the heat intensifies fast. By 0930 most days, the temperature was reaching 30 degrees Celsius.

I felt strong on day 1 and managed to get a 4 min lead over second place, Hayden Hawks. From this point on, I was having to run smart. Hayden is a very strong runner so I had to keep tracking his running and make sure that I was able to counter any move he tried to make. It was a really tough battle every day. The speed always picked up in the last couple of miles. I managed to keep my lead throughout the 6 stages, claiming the win and breaking the previous course record by 44 mins!

The best things about TCC are the views and the varied terrain. Costa Rica is a beautiful country that impresses at all times. Having a small (125 athletes) race meant that you could really get to know some of the other runners. The food was great and the checkpoints well stocked.

Huge congratulations to Tom from the Profeet team! Profeet has helped Tom with our running lab services including; biomechanical analysisCustom Insoles, and running shoe fitting.


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