by Kimmi Runner
November 3rd, 48 miles, 9.9K elevation gain, 12 hour Cutoff
Day 2 was the day we were to summit 2 of Costa Rica’s active volcanos. I knew the climbing would be tough, however it was mostly rideable, and that was encouraging. The energy as the day started was certainly more subdued, and once we began pointing up yet again, it was “heads down” for most of the 28 mile climb. The views were spectacular, as we made our way from practically sea level, up to 10,600 ft above. Also as diverse as the terrain in Costa Rica is the weather. Temps dropped significantly the further up the hill we got. The light drizzle turned to hail, and the wind was relentless. Having opted to not carry a jacket, I emptied out 2 ziplock bags containing leftover french fries, and used them over my feet inside my shoes to help cut the wind chill.
After summiting, we had an 18 mile descent, and after the first few miles of steep, puncture enducing rocks (where I was grateful for my Kenda Karmas, as I had no issues with flats), the trail opened up into a gravel road, followed by miles of paved road. It was a welcome relief as I tucked into a ball and had a blast speeding down the remainder of the mountain. I finished the stage in 7:57, grateful for some extra time to recover, as the call time the next morning was later in the day. The hardest stages of La Ruta were behind me.