Minimalist Running, Maximal Fitness
Near the summit of the highest mountain in Costa Rica towering over Central America at 3820m (12530 feet) altitude I find myself free as a bird with barely any clothing and a small pack on my back to carry water, dates and a few bananas and some very basic safety gear.
Feeling the Trail!
Running up from a starting point of 1400m (4600 feet) altitude I covered a little over 50km that day. The Vibram FiveFingers minimalist footwear was perfect for the added aesthetic of feeling the earth beneath my feet every step of the way.
Beware of Sunburn at Altitude!
The hat was imperative to avoid sunburn on my nose and upper cheeks while running through the thinner air on top of the mountain where I was exposed to the tropical sunshine for several hours.
Being Sun Smart means avoiding Sun Burn
I don't use sunscreen and didn't burn that day thanks to the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables and the tolerance I had built up over the previous month in the area. Most people would probably benefit from wearing sun sleeves or a lightweight long sleeve shirt to protect their skin.
Mountain weather is completely unpredictable, so in my backpack I carried a lightweight jacket in case the weather turned cold. The jacket would be insufficient to survive overnight on top of the mountain where the temperature plummets once the sun goes down. I knew time was of the essence and I had to begin my descent by the early afternoon, no matter how beautiful the scenery was along the way.
It is magical running along the Chirripo trail. With several types of monkeys, including the white faced capuchan, crossing overhead in the canopy I stop running momentarily, mesmerized by their strength, confidence and agility.
Unique Flora and Fauna!
The Chirripo National Park is home to 263 species of amphibians and reptiles and about 400 types of birds observed to date. The largest concentration of tapirs in the country can be in the Chirripo region, plus the puma, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi, white-lipped peccary and cacomistle (a small nocturnal raccoon-like creature).
Birds include the beautiful, but endangered resplendent quetzal, the mot-mot, crested eagle, red-tailed hawk, volcano hummingbird, black guan, crowned wren-thrush, elegant trogon, and acorn woodpecker.
The wild flowers in bloom are a beautiful sight and the trail up the mountain boasts numerous ancient trees towering to the sky.
The ancient stone walls of The Crestones command a beauty I will remember forever.
Have you been getting enough time in natural settings lately?
Have a vibrant and fruitful day!
In support of your health triumphs,
Ultra Marathon Runner, Certified Lifestyle Coach, Retreat Coordinator, Motivational Speaker