Tamarindo Beach Marathon: Q&A with Tamarindo’s elite runner

2016 marks the 10th year of the Tamarindo Beach Marathon. The annual event, which takes place in September, features a 10k race, 21k (half marathon), 30k and of course a 42k (full marathon). Since registration for the event is now open, and training for marathons usually starts months in advance, we thought we’d sit down with one of Tamarindo’s elite runners and the second place finisher of the 10k at last year’s event, Alejandra Cedeño.

Weekly Crawler: What was your finishing time for 10k at the 2015 Tamarindo Marathon?

Alejandra Cedeño: 42 minutes and 51 seconds.

WC: What was your favorite race and why?

AC: Every time I go out on a race, that race becomes my favorite race. In the track, my favorite race has been the qualifying 800m for the World Championship. It was exiting, I had a bunch of intentions in my heart, and I classified.

On the road, my favorite race probably has been the 10k at the Tamarindo Beach Marathon 2015. It was a great challenge because of the heat and humidity, I also expected much of my performance, and it had a beautiful start with all the fireworks, and the lights, and everything. Great vibes.

WC: Any funny running stories to share?

AC: I have a funny story for every single race… Loving to run, I want to make it super fun each time out. For example, I have the moment before races that my friends call the GATORADE effect, and it happens when I arrive to the starting point, and I see the Gatorade publicity, I get nervous, and I have to run to the bathroom as fast as I can to do number two (I don´t know if this is too private hahah)…

Once I lost a shoe. Once my coach ran against a wall cheering me. Things happen all the time.


WC: When and why did you get in to running?

AC: I have been a runner since I was 13, so 26 years so far. I was a gymnast, and this guy came one day to me, and told me that I should be a runner instead, because I had “runner´s legs.” After a very nasty accident on the balance beam, I tried running, and it has become my life ever since.

WC: How did you train for the race?

AC: For the Tama Marathon I just kept on going with my natural plan with some adaptations because of the distance. Since it was on the road, I had a schedule that consisted on 6 days of heavy work, and one day of light work. I combine a series of 1000 meters, with jumps, with speed slopes, with sprints, and always at least 5 kms to warm up, and a couple more to cool down. No swimming, No biking, No beach!!!!

WC: What if your race day fueling strategy?

AC: I eat huge amounts of pasta the night before the race. In the morning, I wake up early, and (trying not to change my normal rhythm) I drink enough water, eat some banana, and after I am ready all dressed up, I have a sandwich (turkey breast, cheese, and jelly), I drink Sustagen, so I don´t get hungry while running. I take a chocolate in my pocket just in case. And I just drink water all the way. Many people who star running marathons take energy drinks, or enhancers, but that only gives me tachycardia, and makes me thirsty.



WC: How do you deal with running in the hot Costa Rican sun?

AC: I try not to deal with the sun. I train at 5:00 am or a 6:00 pm. And the Tama Marathon started at 5:00 am, so I was done before there was any sun.

WC: Any tips for people who want to run this year? When should they start training?

AC: If someone wants to run this year, START TRAINING RIGHT AWAY!!!  I think that people should try to run many hills, because the road is very irregular on this area. Also, I think they should probably go out and do some running at the beach, and at noon, when it is hot. Eat well, sleep enough, run only as much as your body can take, not a foot more. It is very dangerous to run a full marathon if you are not in shape or properly trained. I think runners should first try the 10k, then keep training and upgrade to the 21k, and after completing at least three 21ks, then you can go on and run safely the full marathon. It takes courage, it takes time, it takes love.

WC: Finally, are you going to run again in 2016?

AC: YES!!! If it does not interfere with my track calendar.

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