With best times recorded, two Costa Rican athletes make history at Ironman competition


The Costa Rican triathletes, Ernesto Espinoza and Valeria Zamora, made history in the complete Ironman Cozumel 2021. Espinoza got the top national score made by any Costa Rican in this event and Zamora now has the top female score of a national.

“The effort is enormous, I have over 30 years of triathlon and 10 years of long distance. This result speaks very well of my participation because the top three in my category entered a range of one and a half minutes, which means that the level is very high, ”said Espinoza.

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In addition to setting the best time for a Costa Rican in this event, with 8 hours and 24 minutes, Ernesto managed to finish first in his category and 5th overall in age groups.

Mexican Caribbean

Cozumel is an island in the Mexican Caribbean, characterized by its warm climate and crystal clear sea. Every year it receives thousands of athletes eager to show their potential and get one of the spaces for the Ironman World Cup which takes place in Kona, Hawaii. Triathlete Ernesto Espinoza now holds the highest score recorded by a Costa Rican in a complete Ironman.

“I started with three clear objectives: the first, to finish, which, although it seems conformist, it is not, it is a very tough competition that the simple fact of finishing it is already a great merit. The second, trying to get on the podium to qualify for the World Cup in Hawaii and the third, setting one of the best times for a Costa Rican. And thanks to all the efforts, the three goals were achieved, “explained the 41-year-old triathlete. Espinoza was accompanied by several members of his family and his trainer Dennis Vargas, who ensures that they are an” indispensable part of his support “. team.”

Tica’s victory

For her part, Valeria Zamora made her debut in the long distance. Although she has been practicing triathlon for several years and has participated in various events, she says it made her quite nervous.

“I had never run a marathon, it was the hardest thing. And it’s like everyone says: a pure mind. You see everyone walking, everyone starts out happy and then they are killed. And I was like in my head – you can slow down but don’t walk, don’t walk. Even my dad told me to be calm if I needed to walk to do it but no, I wanted to contradict him, ”Zamora said.

Triathlete Valeria Zamora now has the highest recorded score for a Tica in a full Ironman. Valeria, 28, managed to position second in her age group, just 14 seconds from first place, with a time of 10 hours and 11 minutes, surpassing the best female time achieved by a national in this type. test. She is part of the Coopenae team and is coached by Carolina Mora.

“When I got past the goal I started crying and stuff, I really didn’t expect it. This year I had a knee injury and a few weeks before the competition I had a foot injury. Nobody expected this result, neither me nor my coach. It was a very nice surprise, the feeling that everything was worth it and getting over all those moments when you think you don’t want to continue, ”Zamora added.

The two athletes assure that the weather has helped to make it a more bearable competition, as it is common for it to be very sunny at this time, however, on this occasion, thanks to a thunderstorm on the Mexican island, the rain widely accompanied during the competition. Likewise, they agree that these results can only be achieved with persistence and really wanting it.

Zamora is waiting to see if she qualifies for the Kona World Cup in Hawaii, while Espinoza is already classified, for that and for the Half Ironman World Cup, in Saint George, Utah, USA.

The Full Ironman consists of 3,800 m of sea swimming, 180 km of cycling and 42 km of running. In Costa Rica, the Ironman 70.3 takes place, better known as the Half Ironman for its distances of 1900 m of swimming at sea, 90 km of cycling and 21 km of running. Espinoza and Zamora both reached the podium in their age group in this event.

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