Nine years ago Dave and I wanted to create a 5K/10K running and walking event for the area. It was the first ever event like this in the Dominical/Osa region and we were told by a few long timers that if 20 people showed up early on a Sunday morning, including our volunteers, then consider it a success. That first year we had 28 volunteers and 156 participants (some were both). Since then it has been about the same size. The past few years we have had several officials from the governmental sports agency ask us to “go big” because it has a lot of Costa Rican elements incorporated into the course including the beach, some jungle, mountains, a little village and a couple of small rivers to run through or over (bridges optional). So far we have resisted and it remains a small event but one that many of the locals look forward to doing each year. Many have participated every year. At the beginning, we thought it was going to be mostly foreigners and visitors but since the first year it has been 65% Costa Ricans participating and with a larger than normal representation from Costa Rican women, something that back then was not common. In fact, the judges we hired said the men’s cash awards need to be more than the woman’s awards because there are more men competing. Of course we said absolutely not, even if one woman shows up she will get the same amount as the men when she gets to the finish line. The judges kept trying for a couple more years and gave up. By then there were many competitive woman vying for the top spots. Just over $1,000 is awarded each year in the 10K and because the 5K is designed to be a fun run/walk, only a first prize cash award for the overall male and female finisher is presented.
All expenses to put on the event are covered with a majority of the expenses to put on the event funded by us with the help of commissions we receive from some of the local tour groups and car rental companies we recommend. We also receive a few donations from a couple of local companies and friends. Arizona Ice Tea supplies the drinks for us and is our largest sponsor. This allows 100% of the registration fees to go to the life guards at Playa Hermosa; the animal welfare organization D.A.W.G., who are focused on rescuing dogs and finding them good homes; and the local public elementary school receives funds based on the number of kids that do the Toucan 2K , which is run entirely on the beach. We just met with the school today and the kids were so excited to participate and support their school and a healthy outlet. Last year several of our return guests flew back down to Dominical to put on a running camp that several of the kids attended. Additionally, many of the local restaurants and tourist businesses donate dinners/lunches, massages and adventure tour certificates that are given away during a random drawing at the end of the event to participants and volunteers.
The race almost never got off the ground because the first year, the closest porta potties Dave could locate were in San Jose and they wanted $500 for each one to bring here and service. Dave finally found some in San Isidro and the company agreed to do it at almost cost since it was an event they thought was good for the community. We have managed to support his septic tank servicing company over the years, so it all balances out.
We hope that you are motivated to participate with us as a walker, runner, volunteer or sponsor. The Friday before the race (Feb. 10th) we have a “Water Bag Party” where we fill about 1,500 plastic bags with water that are tied in a knot and handed to the runners, who then bite a hole in the bag and can control the inflow of water without wasting it. Unlike the paper cups that not much water reaches your mouth, as you are running by to grab it. The “party” will start at 2 pm at our office. Bring your bathing suit, if you want, and usually a few stick around for sunset then we find a place for dinner. Let us know if you want to join us.
You can sign up at our office or several other places in the area. Assignments for volunteers includes attending to the several water stations we have along the course, guiding runners, handing out drinks and fruit at the finish line, helping with registration or taking photos.
For 2017 the event is on Sunday, February 12th starting and finishing at the campground at Playa Dominicalito across the highway from the Dominicalito soccer field near Km 147, just one kilometer south of our RE/MAX office. Let me know if you need additional information. We hope to see you there!