FKT: Sam Charlebois - El Camino de Costa Rica (Costa Rica) - 2024-01-10

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5d 6h 27m 52s

Running ACROSS COSTA was, without a doubt, the most exciting and daring running adventure I have undertaken so far.

When I stumbled upon this route on FKT, I knew I had to dive into this project and started preparing months before the adventure.

I had the chance to get in contact with Evan Brashier, who wrote the book "El Camino De Costa Rica Hiking Guide," which instantly became my most important source of information for planning this adventure.

Since the exact total elevation gain of every section was not easy to figure out due to different sources providing varying estimates, one of the hardest parts of the planning was estimating how much distance I could cover each day and accordingly plan my sleeping spots with locals.

I ended up estimating that I could run across the whole country in 6 days, averaging per day about 40.5km with an elevation gain of 1300 meters.

I must say, running across Costa Rica solo was a mesmerizing experience. The landscapes, rich ecosystems, and vibrant culture literally pulled me forward with each step.

To this day, it still feels a bit like a dream, as it is hard to grasp the intensity and beauty experienced in those 6 days. The multiple mountain sections, the cloudy rainforests and sunsets, and the jungle sections requiring two mandatory guides were simply mesmerizing.

My most important equipment was very elementary: Foehn clothing for all my attire, one pair of Norda’s, Leki poles, a Compressport belt, an Arc’teryx cap, and a Black Diamond 15L fastpack. Everything was packed extremely compact and rudimentary for 6 days. I could eat breakfast and dinner with locals where I stayed, and during the day, I relied on sports nutrition for 30g of carbs every 45 minutes. When I passed through a village at lunchtime, I would stop for a proper meal. I always carried 3L of water with me, 2L in a CamelBak, and 1L divided into two flasks.

Speaking a bit of Spanish was a game-changer for communication during the adventure, as the villages I crossed were pretty remote, and local people do not always speak English. On the night of the 4th day, I met my friend Charles, who joined me so I could change clothes and refill my bag with new sports nutrition for the last 2 days. I planned 10 rations a day, which filled up a huge part of my 15L fastpack, considering I started with 40 rations, 3L of water, medical kits, and basic clothing.

I highly recommend this amazing adventure and strongly suggest running or walking it alone. For me, it was a game-changer in my capacity to be fully present, fully aware, and deeply appreciative of the richness of the land.

If you are planning a trip, do not hesitate to write to me on Instagram (@sam.charle.bois). It would be a pleasure to provide more details about the planning and overall experience.