It's been less than two weeks since the finish of the 2008 La Ruta de los Conquistadores but plans are already underway for an expanded event next year.
An extra day will be added to the Costa Rican race for its next edition on November 10-14, 2009. Catering and mechanical services will also be improved.
La Ruta PR director Luis Rueda said: "The central modification will be the five-day format, adding one more day to the trek. This is not going to alter the 'backbone' of La Ruta, which will continue to trace the route of the Spanish explorers' paths across the Costa Rican territory. In fact, the first three days will stay practically the same."
The current fourth day's course will be detoured when the racers hit the flat routes to the Caribbean Sea. Instead of heading east on the train tracks, racers will be directed west towards the Mid-Atlantic region. The new fourth stage is planned to be between 70km and 80km, and the fifth will be approximately 60km.
Organisers are hoping to reduce the number of paved roads on the course by seeking out fire roads and off-road alternatives. They also want to reduce La Ruta's ecological footprint and are looking at ways to achieve a carbon neutral certification for future events.
For more information or to register for one of the 300 spots, visit www.adventurerace.com.