Organizers of the La Ruta de los Conquistadores announced the race's route for 2007, including a new stage and changes to the first stage. The race will run from November 14-17, and it celebrates its 15th anniversary with an extended 356 km course featuring 11,500 meters of climbing. It retraces the path of the Spanish Conquistador across Costa Rica's biodiversity, its many forests, and nine of its 12 different microclimates.
"We included a new stage for the second day, which will link the finish venue of day one with the start venue of day three. Now, we will certainly cross Costa Rica from coast to coast in four days," said La Ruta's Race Director Luis Viquez, during a press conference offered in San José Monday morning.
Race founder Roman Urbina, designed the new stage, which will take between six and nine hours to complete.
Day one will remain similar to 2006. It will depart from the Best Western Jacó Beach Hotel, at the Pacific Coast, and will finish 96 km later at El Rodeo horse farm, 20 km west of Costa Rica's capital city, San José.
In response to growing fields of amateur racers, the last muddy climb of the first day's route, known as "La Pita," has been removed and replaced with a paved climb. "We realized that the first day had to change a little bit according to the new situation," Luis Viquez said after he and the rest of the crew presented the new course. "If for any reason this main-way cannot be used for the race, a "B" option has been established over an old almost-flat gravel trail which connects Check Point 3 (at San Pedro de Turrubares) and the finish venue. The appealing, traditionally demanding section of this stage, through the Carara National Park Jungle, remains intact.
Day 2 features the new stage, which will begin at El Rodeo and will trace a 72.2 km course with plenty of views over the mountains around the Central Valley before finishing at TerraMall Shopping Center 15 km east of San José.
The third and fourth stages are the same as previous years. The 66.7 km day three commences at the TerraMall and climbs 30km to the highest point of the event, the Irazú Volcano (3,010 meters above sea level) before also hitting the "El Tapojo" downhill to Turrialba Volcano first the coffee town of Aquiares. The final 120km stage runs from Aquiares to the Caribbean beach of "Playa Bonita". This is the famous portion of the course with the train tracks and bridges.
Last year's race was won by Columbian Leonardo Hector Paez and Canadian Marg Fedyna.
For more information, maps, course profiles and further details, visit www.adventurerace.com.