In this Daily: The Flamingo Beach Marathon
Playa Flamingo is hosting the first ever Gatorade Flamingo Beach Marathon next Saturday, September 14th. Started 12 years ago in Tamarindo, the marathon moves to Flamingo for the first time this year, shifting locations to handle the logistics of a race as attendance for the event continues to grow.
The race begins on Saturday at 4am to beat the heat of the day, heading out on a route up through Flamingo, Brasilito, Huacas, and down to Villareal, before retracing the same route back to the finish at Hotel Margaritaville.
There are also 4 other races held the same day, at 30k, 21k, 10k, and 6k distances. Each comprises a slightly different route through the area, which are all available on the Buen Paso website.
One local to keep an eye on next Saturday is Jason Martin, a friend of Las Catalinas, who has used the roads in town and the surrounding areas to train for the Flamingo Marathon
A Pair of Challenges
Jason and his family moved to Guanacaste three years ago, where he and his wife now work and raise three children. To him, Flamingo represents a hefty challenge, one that he is looking to overcome in order to compete in a race that he calls “the big daddy of them all”, the Boston Marathon.
A Connecticut native, Jason has competed in the Boston Marathon 17 times over the past 20 years, and Flamingo represents one of a few remaining qualifying races before the registration date for next year’s Boston Marathon.
It’s fitting, he says, that the two races tie together his current home in Guanacaste with his childhood home in New England. In order to qualify for the big race back home, he has to master Flamingo first.
Training for the Flamingo Marathon
For the Flamingo Beach Marathon, Jason is targeting a 3:15 time, 5 minutes below the current Boston Marathon qualification time for his age group. It’s no easy task, and Jason shared some of the challenges and benefits of training in the area before his race next weekend.
“Around here you’ve got a very diverse terrain. You can get out of the city and into the hills for hill work, you can find long steady roads for more gentle training, you can go offroad to train in more intense conditions on dirt, where it’s a little dustier and hot, or you can cruise along the coastal highways for peak conditions.”
Jason tends to run late at night, once the kids are all in bed, and relishes the gentle weather and low traffic in the region.
“It’s a bit of a meditative thing,” he says. “You can pick a different route every night practically, and just get out and settle into the run. Doesn’t matter if it’s coming down rain or totally clear skies.”
Jason also interjects some steady treadmill and gym work, and used some open water rehab work when dealing with a problem with his achilles.
With only a week left to go until the race, Jason believes that he’s ready to hit his qualification time.
“The conditions around town are great to live in, but for a long term race you generally prefer something right around 50 to 60 degrees. So living here is sort of like mild altitude training, where you get used to something warmer and then when race day comes you’re flying. It’s funny, ‘cause if I can get past Flamingo and keep training like this, I’ll be in great shape for Boston.”
After the Race
When the race is finished, Jason’s plan is to head home, hop into the water, get a recovery massage, and enjoy some time with family and friends to celebrate the race and the training that lead there.
If you’re traveling to the area for the race, there’s a special offer at Santarena next weekend to provide a similar local experience. Transportation to and from the event, discounts on dining at Ponciana, and athlete rates on Wake Day Spa’s preparation and recovery treatments before and after the race make the Flamingo Beach Marathon feel like you’re racing at home.
Good luck to Jason and all marathon competitors next Saturday!