Although it looked like it might rain, the weather turned out well for the event. A DJ played music while CREAR volunteers sold food to raise funds for their nonprofit educational programs, and local guys kicked around a soccer ball near the finish line on the beach in front of Intercultura. Other local venders also took advantage of the event to sell food and drinks. A second finishing point was also set up at Villas Playa Samara.
Franklin Chavarria Rojas, director of Multireto Adventures, the group that organized the athletic festival, explained that an alliance was formed with Samara’s chamber of commerce, CASATUR, to hold the festival in Samara, and the idea is to continue repeating it every year.
Chavarria found Samara an ideal host town for the festival because of the support of community members as well as the area’s pristine terrain and nature which hasn’t been spoiled by large tourist infrastructure.
Chavarria estimated that about 15% of the participating athletes were from the local area, including Samara, Nosara and Nicoya.
Hector Luis Zuñiga Noguera of Garza, who won the 10km run on Saturday, was excited to participate in such an athletic event locally. He related that this is the first year when athletic events like this have been held in Samara and Nosara and said that those who like to practice sports are motivated when an event like this is held locally.
Marco Carmona, president of CASATUR, contacted Multireto Adventures to propose holding an athletic event in Samara in an effort to fill empty spaces during low season, boosting business for hotels and restaurants. Carmona explained that planning the event during rainy season is no problem since athletes will always participate in events like this, rain or shine. They plan to host the athletic festival around the same date next year.
Carmona also commented that CASATUR will be looking to help local athlete Pablo Sanchez with sponsorships in recognition and support of his athletic performance. Sanchez won his triathlon event on Saturday.
At the same time on Saturday, a motorcross event called Enduro took place to raise funds for Samara’s school, with 77 riders participating. The course included 40km through dangerous, muddy roads from Samara through the mountains to Zaragosa and back to Samara, ending at the community hall.