Half Marathoning in Costa Rica

The Gatorade Tamarindo Beach Half Marathon started at 5 am, so Mere and I woke around 4 am thinking that would give us plenty of time to get warmed up and eat before the race. This didn’t go quite as planned, and we did little of either, but somehow still managed to make it to the starting line with minutes to spare. We accidentally started with either the 10k-ers or the full marathoners, we couldn’t really tell which because everything was in Spanish, but we knew enough to surmise that we were in the wrong place. But that is neither here nor there.

It was dark when the race started, but the sun began to rise early into the run, and it was just gorgeous. The scenery was beyond breathtaking, with lush greenery surrounding us and misty mountains rising in the distance. We didn’t wear headphones because we wanted to fully take in the sights and sounds around us; howler monkeys hooted in the background, and locals lined the streets cheering “Vaminos, vaminos!”

By the grace of God, I had an incredibly strong run. I was all but unaware that my legs were moving, I was so mesmerized by the beauty around me. It also helped that there were very few mile markers, so we never had a solid sense of how far we had come or how much distance we had left to cover. I actually found myself feeling sad that the run was going by so quickly and wishing it wouldn’t end. I didn’t want to stop when it was over; I felt like I could run forever out there.

Unfortunately, Mere got a gnarly blister around mile 9, and since we had promised to finish the race together, that slowed us up a bit and my finishing time wasn’t reflective of how great I felt during the race. Our clock time means little though; the important thing is that we ran a half marathon in Costa Rica, and it was one of my favorite life experiences. Here I am being a sweaty mess just after crossing the finish line:

Because we are insane, we hit the beach for another surfing lesson almost immediately after receiving our medals. Don’t ask me where this energy came from, because it is unexplainable. All I know is that we had four days in Costa Rica, and we were determined to do everything we possibly could (except sleep). We surfed for an hour, then got hour-long full body massages on the beach. Bliss. After being sufficiently relaxed and kneaded to the sound of crashing waves, it was time for our snorkeling tour. Stay tuned.

P.S. If you want to read more about my experience during the actual run, I invite you to check out my Race Recaps tab, where I share a chronological assessment of the various races I participate in.

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