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Green Cup Finals brings competitors from 10 nations to Carillo and Samara
• Associacion Run y Ride plans to host finals here again next year because of community involvement

 By Arianna McKinney

Juan Carlos Nieva of Argentina won the individual category.

The Green Cup run and ride world finals had about 55 competitors representing 10 nationalities.

Marianela Gonzales Salazar of Carillo surprised people by being the first woman to cross the finishline.

  Adventurous athletes from around the world competed in the Green Cup Mountain run and ride world finals on Saturday, December 04 in Carillo and Samara. This is the second year the Green Cup finals have been held in Carillo, and the Associacion Run y Ride Costa Rica has signed an agreement to hold next year’s event in Carillo as well, according to Coordinator Franklin Chavarria.
This year’s individual category winner was 29-year-old Juan Carlos Nieva of Argentina who currently lives in Spain. Nieva began mountain biking 5 years ago and has won his last 7 races.  However, the Green Cup here in Costa Rica presented him with a special challenge: the climate. He came to Costa Rica directly from a cold climate where it was snowing and just last week he had to pour hot water on his car to be able to open the door, which was frozen shut.

A local team for Hotel Guanamar won the group category: Marianela Gonzales Salazar, 25, of Carillo, and Juan Pablo Sanchez Rodriguez, 31, of Samara. "Thanks to my companion Pablo Sanchez we managed to win as a team,” commented Gonzales, who was the first woman to cross the finish line. When she found out that she was the first woman to cross, she thought, “this can’t be”. This was her first year competing and several, including Chavarria, speculated that if Gonzales had entered as an individual competitor she would likely have won. “Well, next year,” she said. She said that competing in the Green Cup was a very lovely experience because of all the community support.
The Green Cup series consists of 5 events in various countries. The event in Carillo was the 2010 finals. About 55 athletes from 10 nationalities competed in the Green Cup. The race consisted of an 10.5km run and 25km mountain bike challenge beginning at 9 a.m. The route began in Carillo, going up to Las ventanas, traversing the mountain paths through Pan American Woods, continuing on to Samara and returning along the main road to Carillo Beach.       

Chavarria said Carillo is an ideal location for the Green Cup because of its combination of location and nature. Another reason why Carillo was chosen for the event, according to Chavarria, is the level of community involvement possible here. “We want to promote Carillo as an sports tourism destination,” he said. Carillo Beach is recognized as a blue flag beach and it is maintained principally by the community rather than the municipality.







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