Called by pro mountain bikers the “most extreme 100-miler in the world,” the Rincon de la Vieja Challenge 100-mile mountain bike race at Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste, Costa Rica recently upped its status to become the first international chapter of the National Ultra Endurance Series (NUE).
The NUE is a series of twelve 100-mile mountain bike races across the United States. Winner of the 2014 NUE series, Brenda Simril of Tennessee, also took first place in the Open Category for Women in the Rincon de la Vieja Challenge 2014.
“I’m really excited about making the Rincon de la Vieja Challenge part of the NUE series,” commented JuanCarlos Villa, founder and organizer of the Rincon de la Vieja Challenge. “There are no 100-mile races south of the United States. We are the first 100-mile race in Latin America.”
The Rincon de la Vieja Challenge started in 2013 with 140 racers, and nearly doubled to 270 in 2014. Most were Costa Rican competitors. Villa says they are projecting up to 400 or 500 participants for 2015, with many more international racers.
“We’re a tough race and we’re really well organized,” said Villa. “Costa Rica ranks high for mountain biking in Latin America because of the well-developed tourism infrastructure, good security and excellent topography.”
The race circumnavigates the massive active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, taking riders through five microclimates from the dry plains of Guanacaste up over the Continental Divide to lush cloud forests and back again. Racers are pushed to the limits physically and mentally climbing 12,000 feet over the 100-miles on rugged and difficult terrain.
Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin will again be the headquarters for the thrilling Rincon de la Vieja Challenge 2015 on Aug. 22. The adventure and ecotourism lodge hosted the Costa Rica adventure race for the past two years. Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin also staged the international North Face Endurance Challenge in 2013 and 2014.
To stay at Rincon de la Vieja hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, you can make reservations online. The Guanacaste hotel is located 15.5 miles (25 km) northeast of Guanacaste’s principal city of Liberia.
Article by Shannon Farley