Gerhard Krolow, affectionately known locally as Don Gerard, died Sunday 10 July, 2016 at 81 years old. Gerhard and his lovely wife Kathy, spent 3 – 4 months every year at their lovely home “Finca Isabella’ in San Gerardo de Rivas where they hosted visitors and locals alike and cultivated and processed their own coffee; but more than anything participated in the Carrera Chirripó.
This race – 17 km up Mount Chirripó and 17 km back – is in its 28th year and has become an international event along the same lines as other Ironman challenges. Don Gerhard, a seasoned athlete and competitor, opened up the race to include veterans over the age of 70 and continued to compete 19 times until 2014 when ill health precluded him from entering.
He not only competed in the Carrera Chirripó but also joined other mountain runs all over Costa Rica, as he did back home in Canada, winning countless awards. In addition Gerhard was thrilled when his son, Gerhard Junior, joined him in the Chirripó Race.
In 2010 at the age of 75 he was still reaching the summit in just 3.5 hours, and finishing below in just 6.25 hours. (To put this in perspective it takes a hiker normally 8 hours to reach the summit that Gerhard managed in 3.5 hours!).
Don Gerhard was an example to all – as a competitor and as a pioneer for veteran racers in Costa Rica. He showed many people that age did not have to be a factor in deciding whether or not to compete at this high level, and to keep on trying.
The community wishes Doña Kathy all strength through these difficult times and our thoughts are with her and her family.