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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's your opinion on this issue: 4 stages instead of 3.

From their site:

Day 1. Distance: 96 km (60 miles).
- Time to finish: 12 hours - 30 minutes at 7.7 km/h.

Day 2. Distance: 60 km (40 miles).
- Time to finish: 10 hours - 30 minutes at 5.70 km/h.

Day 3. Distance: 66.7 km (41.4 miles).
- Time to finish: 10 hours - 30 minutes at 6.40 km/h.

Day 4. Distance: 120 km (75 miles).
- Time to finish: 12 hours at 10 km/h.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One would think so at first glance, but I've read many complaints about logistics and stuff; granted, some of the neg feedback comes from frustraded people who hoped for celebrity-status treatment... but in terms of the challenge, the extra miles... the spirit of the race itself... I want to read what other who have finished have to say about it.

:)
 

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mtbnewguy said:
One would think so at first glance, but I've read many complaints about logistics and stuff; granted, some of the neg feedback comes from frustraded people who hoped for celebrity-status treatment... but in terms of the challenge, the extra miles... the spirit of the race itself... I want to read what other who have finished have to say about it.

:)
I did it back in 2004. I wasn't too tempted to go back until they announced an addiotnal day. I embrace the "extra challenge". Why not make it harder?? Woohoo!!!
Celebrity treatment would be nice though.
 

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I rode this event twice.

Back in 2002 it was disorganized, shuttles back to the hotels were ridiculosly late, bikes were not washed as promised, etc. It was the race that the front part of the field got lost, and the organizers came up with a bogus remedy.

I did it last year. it was much more organized. I hope the second stage of the new format does not have a huge amount of hike a bike, especially if the keep the stretch between check point 3 and 4 the same from last year, as it was brutal.

La Ruta is a race that I just don't see going down every year to do, I have lots of respect for guys that do, with the 4 day format I will return so it can not be said that I did the easy la Ruta.
 

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TiRyder said:
What was the three day mileage breakdown? Anybody know the 3 and 4 day elevation breakdowns as well?

Thanks - Rob
Day 1. Distance: 96 km (60 miles).
- Time to finish: 12 hours - 30 minutes at 7.7 km/h.

Day 2. Distance: 60 km (40 miles).
- Time to finish: 10 hours - 30 minutes at 5.70 km/h.

Day 3. Distance: 66.7 km (41.4 miles).
- Time to finish: 10 hours - 30 minutes at 6.40 km/h.

Day 4. Distance: 120 km (75 miles).
- Time to finish: 12 hours at 10 km/h.
 

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singlespeedwi said:
Day 1. Distance: 96 km (60 miles).
- Time to finish: 12 hours - 30 minutes at 7.7 km/h.

Day 2. Distance: 60 km (40 miles).
- Time to finish: 10 hours - 30 minutes at 5.70 km/h.

Day 3. Distance: 66.7 km (41.4 miles).
- Time to finish: 10 hours - 30 minutes at 6.40 km/h.

Day 4. Distance: 120 km (75 miles).
- Time to finish: 12 hours at 10 km/h.
Yeah, got that. Do you know the previous 3 (THREE) day breakdowns? as in what was it last year?
 

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whoops. I meant to paste this.

# Race 1 - November 3: Garabito, Puntarenas (Pacific Coast) to Santa Ana, San Jose (Central Valley), 97 km
# Race 2 - November 4: San Jose to Turrialba, 66.7 km
# Race 3 - November 5: Turrialba to Moin Port, Limón, 120 km
 

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For those who've done it before, does the route take you near Monteverde or Arenal or does it keep its distance from the major National Parks? I've been all over Costa Rica's western coast and much of the central valley, most recently climbing 12,535 Cerro Chirripo last spring, and I really want to do La Ruta, but I'm having flashbacks to sections of the hike up Chirripo that climbed basically 900ft per mile for mile after mile. There's nothing that steep during La Ruta is there?

Please, tell me there isn't.
 

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EnduroDoug said:
I really want to do La Ruta, but I'm having flashbacks to sections of the hike up Chirripo that climbed basically 900ft per mile for mile after mile. There's nothing that steep during La Ruta is there?

Please, tell me there isn't.
Stage 1 last year was "new" according to those that had done it before, with way more singletrack/mudtrack (depending on perspective) and absolutely brutal on everyone; rumor was that only ~120 people made the actual time cutoff day 1 (I was ninety-something across the line day 1 at a little under 10 hours, and when the bus left 1/2 hour before cutoff there were a little over 100 that had crossed). Even Tinker and Andreas Hestler were talking about having to walk...

I did the 401 trail in September just before going down, on a 35lb+, 6-in travel monstrosity of a rental bike. I'd rather do that climb over and over and over again on that thing than the climbs from day 1 on the lightest hardtail you've got.

so, um....there isn't?

Problem is, knowing all this I have to go back. As others have said, now I've only done the "easy" version.
 

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Adding a fourth day? Great. Hopefully it has some singletrack. I did La Ruta last year. It's a tough race. The first day would not have been much fun on a SS. Super steep mud climbing. Second day would have been great. Third day would've been boring (flat for last 50K or so). Not to say one shouldn't do it on a SS, it's just not a course that would inspire me to try it on my SS (I like the CCP on my SS, if that gives you any perspective).

That being said, honestly, the course didn't inspire me much at all. There was zero singletrack in 3 days, which was disappointing. I expected a hard race, but I really like to have some payoff for the work, and I just didn't feel like it was there.

Logistically, I was impressed that they could move all of those bikes from the finish to the start for the next day. Seeing how they did it made me a little nervous, but they did it. Still, it wasn't perfect. My friend was on a brand new carbon epic and it got scuffed pretty good. Not enough to compromise anything, but still enough for concern.

The Ticos (Costa Ricans) in the little towns in the middle of nowhere that you go flying through were the highlight of the race for me. Even if the race organization doesn't treat you like a celeb, the local kids do. They're asking for autographs and water bottles and stuff... That part was kind of neat. The kids were great! The machismo of the culture is another story and was another turn-off about the whole scene.

IMHO, it's a lot of money and time for something that's not really all that. I'm glad I did it, but doubt I'll ever do it again.
 

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So I just wrote a long expose on the race and lost it. So here it is again, my time I give to you..
"rumor was that only ~120 people made the actual time cutoff day 1"
first of all, rumors?? Come on the numbers are there, 264 finished out of 515 the first day.
For elevation questions go to www.adventurerace.com. They have good profiles on the the race.
I did the LR in 2006.
Was it worth it?
Every penny. Hotels were top, food was great (i just wish we could of had seconds), shuttles were on time. The Bike transport looked scetchy but Bikes came out relatively unscathed. They had massage people there if you wanted. They had mechanics, but I skipped and took care of my own stuff (i'm not a fan of pressure washing my bikes. Every thing went unbeleviable well. And though we were a little late on the last day, we made it just in time to get our bikes and get to the back of the start field. That was the fault of a rider at the hotel who held up the whole group. I'd say I don't understand how anyone could be unhappy with the running of the event. But after leading a training camp this past week for paying clients I realized some people are so needy and lost outside of the organized little box they live in.
Granted: in 2006 they took the organizing of the race away from the race founder because he was incompetent. That is why 2006 went so well.

SingleTrack dreaming??
This is a Bicycle Race that cannot be done comfortably on any bike other than a mountainbike. Therefore it is a mountainbike race. The Tico's don't really ride alot of singletrack.
What I heard at the race was that the extra day add for 2007 will have the narrow stuff, and it was added just for that reason.
Thats great because I love singletrack. I consider myself a technical rider and rely on my finess skills to compensate for my lack of power. So a little singletrack will mean a lot to me.
BUT!!! Though there was no singletrack last year (okay there was about 200ft) I wouldn't hesitate to go back. The terrain was so difficult and challenging anyways that I forgot about the skinny stuff. At one point I was walking my bike up past motorcycle support that was stuck in the mud. And though I like going downhill, there was one section of ruts and potholes that I had to walk for about 30ft. My friend said he was off his bike walking down hill more than that. The dualtrack in the back country is pretty isolated.
Sure there are lots of gravel roads but decending on those things is insane. You can go so fast that your using the road edge to edge through the corners and god forbid you lose control in the baby-heads. Tho the Tico's can go up hill, they don't seem to have a strong hand for going down. As a general rule. But the way it is with gravely, cabbage patch dualtrack descents, is that the faster you go the more fun/dangerous it is.
So day one was the most challenging day I've ever spent on a mountainbike. I passed Andreas Hestler as he was lying on the ground in the sun complaining about the heat. I asked a kid if his mom would filll up my water bladder at some mountain house.
I trained beforehand on different bike carrying methods. I took off my water bottle cages just for the first day for putting my arm through the triangle and using a modified Cyclo/Cross carring technique. I guarantee everyone did some walking.
On the second day you get to climb up into the micro-climate of a volcano! A volcano people!! There was a little singletrack but it lasted about a minute. Once you got to the top there was an hour long descent! an hour. ANd it was so fast, cold, wet and full of baby heads that it was enough of a technical challenge to please my techy desires. I missed a turn and had to add an extra 30min of climbing to my day to get back to the course. That was the only time I cursed the whole race. Then as you descend more the sun comes out and there are all these scetchy lines to take around the corners and again it's as fast as your other responsibilities willl let you go.
Then the last day is another hour climb to start (Approx) then then rollers till you hit a kick'n descent for about 20min. thennnnn the final climb of the day in the totally exposed sun. ANd once you hit the top the heat of the Carribean hits you and it's a long 50ish mile slog to the finish. The Railroad tracks aren't as bad as they say but the last piece of a couple miles is the worst., then the finish never seems to come. But when you are there it's one of the best feelings in the world.
Will I go Back!
Definately.
I look at that race as something similar to the Paris-Roubaix or any of those other spring classics where hard men belt it out for hours. It is definatly a race of attrition.
Go and push yourself.
It is Costa Rica and a pretty awsome place.
Harlan
 

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I agree with your observation on the Ticos, they can definitely go up hill and they tend to be a little more tentative on the descent. On the second stage I was watching so many of them pulling away from me on the climb up the volcano and then smiling as I would catch them on the descent. The descent from the volcano was the highlight of the course for me. That descent was as fast as your juevos would let you open it up with some major consequence if you misjudged it (ask Jeremiah Bishop).
I don't mean to be down on the whole thing and I don't think that stating a dissenting opinion is whining (or unpatriotic for that matter). I'm simply making an observation and I admit that I am very spoiled by what I ride daily. So, to go and do LR was a good challenge but just not that inspiring.
My comment about the culture was based on observations of other 3rd world countries where most people are willing to give you everything they have instead of try to steal what you have the second you look away.
Heading out to Limon on the last stage, I was riding with a female who said that she would have been a little nervous to have been alone there. This is a woman who has traveled to probably 2/3 of the countries of the world, not just some whitebread cracker who has never been out of the U.S. A lot of the rastas there (around Limon) are lazy thugs. They were even described that way by a good friend of mine who is from San Jose and who we stayed with for several days. So, again, I'm not saying that everyone is that way, but that my general opinions are based on my general observations and even the observations of a native Tico who can see it in his own culture.
These things combined are what make me say "glad I did it, probably won't do it again"
If you're doing it for the first time, or going back to do it again, good for you and have fun.
 

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Lots of Machismo,
I I'm glad I didn't hang out on the Carribean very much. A much more sketchy of a place than I normally like to hang out. Give me a non-touristy, small town to roam around. I hear other parts of the Carribean are okay, but some of my Tico acquaintences said the same thing about the characters on that side.
 
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