I’ve recently discovered a new favorite genre: documentaries about people performing wince-inducing physical feats. In that vein, I’d like someone to make a feature-length film about the race that unites batshit-crazy badass superheroes every February in Costa Rica. That’s right. It’s the Carrera Internacional Ecológica Cerro Chirripó.
To put this in perspective, I may need to italicize, and possibly hit the caps lock button. You see, people in fairly good shape often train to make sure they’ll be successful when they walk up Chirripó, Costa Rica’s highest peak, over multiple days. The competitors in this race run up – and then down – a total of 34 kilometers, ascending and then descending 2,050 meters along the way. Yes, caps lock required. That’s running up the Empire State Building MORE THAN FIVE TIMES OVER, and then descending that same knee-jarring distance, except on uneven terrain and at high altitudes. All in a little over three hours, if you’re in the lead.
I would tell you more about the way the race links runners to local communities, homegrown food and regional traditions, but just writing about it has worn me out. I’ll be over on the couch, hoping that a documentarian is interviewing Saturday’s racers as we speak and preparing to strap cameras to their singlets so we can see just how they manage this extraordinary feat. Best of luck, you superhumans. May the road rise to meet you. I have a funny feeling it will.
I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! Each month in 2020 has a monthly theme, and February’s is marriage equality, so scroll back through the month to see several posts highlighting people and organizations working on behalf of this issue in Costa Rica.