Tag Archives: Transgrancanaria

Ultrarunning News from Around the Globe

In this month’s column we bring you news from the opening rounds of the Ultra Trail World Tour and the latest UTWT standings, as well as a selection of news from the blogs.

Vibram Hong Kong 100

The opening round of the 2017 Ultra Trail World Tour in Hong Kong had improved conditions with some milder temperatures and rain. Yanqiao Yan from China captured the win but a decent margin of twenty six minutes over Italian Daniel Jung. Sage Canaday was the top American in third place. Other notable finishers in this early season head to head were Didrik Hermansen 4th, Tim Tollefson 5th, Seth Swanson 6th and Julien Chorier 10th.

Nuria Picas returned to her winning ways in dominant fashion with an emphatic victory over China’s Linming Chen by some thirty five minutes and in the process besting the old course record by over forty minutes.DSC_5103
New Zealand athlete and Hong Kong based Marie McNaughton took third place in what appears to be her fastest time on this course.

 

 

 

Vibram Hong Kong 100

Men Time
1 Yanqiao Yun 09:35:11
2 Daniel Jung 10:01:35
3 Sage Canaday 10:03:50

 

Women Time
1 Nuria Picas-Albets 11:18:57
2 Linming Chen 11:53:47
3 Maria McNaughton 12:26:19

Tarawera Ultramarathon

American Jim Walmsley cruised to victory unchallenged in an incredibly fast record time of 7:23 leading from virtually the get go. Walmsley was more than forty five minutes ahead of second placed Jonas Buud who is no slouch when it comes to fast trails.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

The final spot on the podium was for New Zealand’s Sam McCutcheon. Other notable finishers in this hotly contested race in New Zealand were Gediminas Grinius in 5th, Matt Flaherty 7th and Michael Wardian 8th.

In a similar vein the women’s race was won by leading from the front, Camille Herron beating second place Magdalena Boulet by around twenty four minutes. It was a narrow margin for third placed Cecilia Flori who was only ninety seconds behind Boulet. Fiona Hayvice who won last year in 10:34 finished sixth in 10:06 such was the step up in competition this year. Fernanda Maciel took 7th and Sophie Grant 10th.

Tarawera Ultramarathon 102km

Men Time
1 Jim Walmsley 07:23:32
2 Jonas Buud 08:10:58
3 Sam McCutcheon 08:12:35

 

Women Time
1 Camille Herron 08:56:00
2 Magdelena Boulet 09:20:13
3 Cecilia Flori 09:21:42

Transgrancanaria

Trangsrancanaria is the first UTWT race of the season in Europe with a distance of 125km and with 8,000 metres of ascent it is a serious early season challenge. The runners traverse from the north of the island to the south and the massed crowds on the beach of Maspalomas.

This year’s men’s winner was a richly deserved Pau Capell in a fast time of 13:21 beating Didrik Hermansen’s winning time from 2016 by a huge twenty minutes. Lithuanian Vaidas Zlabys placed second fourteen minutes later with Hermansen settling for third place this year.

Other top ten finishers included Diego Pazos 8th, Andy Symonds 9th and Timothy Olson 10th.

The women’s race was dominated by Spain’s Azara Garcia in her first race of over 100 kilometres. A challenging last 40 kilometres where she had difficulty eating and drinking made the closing efforts more intriguing but Garcia still managed to eclipse second place Andrea Huser by over forty five minutes. In third place was Melanie Rousset less than fifteen minutes behind.

Other top ten finishers Ildiko Wermescher 5th, Juliette Blanchette 7th, Lisa Borzani 8th and Manuela Vilaseca 10th.

Transgrancanaria

Men Time
1 Pau Capell 13:21:03
2 Vaidas Zlabys 13:35:38
3 Didrik Hermansen 13:50:06

 

Women Time
1 Azara Garcia 16:25:20
2 Andrea Huser 17:15:45
3 Melanie Rousset 17:30:40

 

News from the blogs

Kilian Jornet

In the continuing adventure ‘Summits of My life’ Jornet recently announced he will once again go back to Everest. On his return he has a full bag of trail racing, Marathon du Mont Blanc, Hardrock and UTMB amongst others. Somewhere in all this racing he will travel to the UK to take on the famous Bob Graham Round.

http://www.kilianjornet.cat/en/blog/2017-calendar/ 

Manuela Vilaseca

Brazilian ultra runner and mountain biker, Manuela “Manu’ Vilaseca trains hard and invariably finishes top ten in some of the tougher mountain races such as UTMB and Transgrancanaria. ‘Catch me if you can’ is Manu’s catch phrase!   More regular updates on her athlete Facebook page.

http://manuvilaseca.com/site/

Andrea Huser

Find out more about Andrea Huser on her Facebook page.  Swiss athlete Huser loves the mountains. Looks like this year she will spend some time in the US in preparation for Western States at the end of June.

Francesca Canepa

Italian Francesca Canepa looks like she is heading to Croatia to compete in the 100 miles of Istria a UTWT event. Checkout her Facebook page to keep up to date.

Gediminas Grinius

Lithuanian athlete Gediminas Grinius came on the scene about two years ago at Lavaredo Ultra Trail and has continually impressed showing it was not a fluke performance. I like his mantra ‘Time is Time’ so don’t look for his blog which is not regularly updated but check out his Facebook page for updates. He is currently running in the US.

Mike Wardian

Does he really need an introduction… Mike races practically every weekend and sometimes both days or indeed in the morning and then in the evening. He is scheduled to run Western States at the end of June and then Hardrock three weeks later. Even with MW’s prodigious racing calibre that is a tall ask…. bring it on!!

http://mikewardian.com

UTWT Standings

Here is a recap on scoring for UTWT events. These are points awarded to the winner of the various category races.

Three rounds of this year’s Ultra Trail World Tour have been raced, Vibram Hong Kong 100 (Pro), Tarawera Ultramarathon (Pro) and Transgrancanaria (Series).

 

Place Series with Bonus Series Pro Challenger
1st 1300 1000 700 400
2nd 1124 865 605 346
3rd 1021 785 550 314
4th 948 729 510 292
5th 891 685 480 274

Leading the way after three races are Didrik Hermansen with 1,295 points and Azara Garcia with 1,000 points. IMG_2256Transgrancanaria as a Series race commands more points than the Pro races (Vibram HK and Tarawera). Critically, later on in the season Marathon des Sables and UTMB are the only two Series with Bonus races and could prove crucial to who wins the 2017 UTWT.

 

Up and coming races

Marathon des Sables – April 7th-17th

100 Miles of Istria – April 7th-9th

Patagonia Run 2017 – 145k – April 7th-8th

Madeira Island Ultra Trail – April 22nd

Penyagolosa Trails – April 22nd

Thames Path 100 – April 29th – 30th

 

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2016 TRANSGRANCANARIA RACE REPORT

IMG_2280

Caroline Chaverot cruising into Ayagaures 107km

 

Two different tactics were employed at the 125km Transgrancanaria this weekend. Go out hard from the gun and keep charging or hang with the lead group and wait for the moment to charge. Fortunately both strategies ended with wins and course records for France’s Caroline Chaverot 15:23:40 and Norway’s Didrik Hermansen 13:41:48 respectively.

IMG_2256

Didrik Hermansen running strong into Ayagaures 107km

 

For Chaverot it was an inspired performance showing absolute confidence in her ability and sheer guts to take it out from the front and just keep charging knowing that you have a strong field behind you ready to pounce at any slip up. After 125km of ultimately controlled running by Chaverot her lead was nearly two whole hours ahead of Switzerland’s Andrea Huser in 17:21:43.  In third place and only seven minutes behind was Spain’s Uxue Fraile Azpeitia in 17:28:05.

On the other hand Hermansen played it conservatively, at first running his own race but keeping in the lead pack and then pushing harder and then harder still to take the lead. His was a race of guts as well, knowing that he had some really strong guys behind him that he had overtaken but who could quite easily reel him back in with any momentary slip up in pace. But he didn’t slow up and once he had that lead he took it all the way, again with total confidence in his ability. His finish time of 13:41:48 created a new course record by a whole forty two minutes. Lithuanian and 2015 Transgrancanaria champion Gediminas Grinius came in a strong second in a time of 13:45:08.  In joint third were Catalan Pau Capell, winner of the Advanced race in 2015, with Switzerland’s Diego Pazos both in a time of 14:11:02.

AF3-PERFIL-TRANSGC

As the clock chimed 11PM in Agaete the seventeenth edition of the Transgrancanaria started on the north west of the island of Gran Canaria. The amassed runners would have a challenging race ahead of them with not only 125km of technical running but a mixture of temperatures to deal with along their journey. The night time journey would be cold with strong winds and low cloud cover followed by 25C dry and arid heat as the midday sun rose through the afternoon. For many a second night would be part of their journey as they attempted to finish within the 30 hour cut off at 5AM on Sunday morning.

Artenara is at 33km and is a crucial point in the race. Frenchman Aurelian Collet (3:49 elapsed) had built a lead of one minute ahead of # Capell, Pazos, Grinius and Longfei Yan followed by Jordi Gamito-Baus and Andy Symonds a further minute behind. All in fairly close contention at not even the midway point.

By contrast Chaverot reached Artenara with an elapsed time of 4:13 and a twenty one minute lead over Emelie Lecomte. Nuria Picas followed very shortly but was to drop out at this point with a psoas injury.

At Teror (56km) Collet was in with 6:09 elapsed followed by Pazos two minutes later. Grinius & Hermansen were in third and sixh places and running strongly only two and eight minutes back from Collet. Julien Chorier was in a top ten position but was rattled by not being able to pick up some supplies at this aid station.  Chaverot’s lead at Teror had built up to thirty nine and forty four minutes over a second and third placed Huser & Azpeitia.

As daylight broke, the runners reached (82km) past Roque Nublo and onto the checkpoint in the woods of Garanon.

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Aurelian Collet leading coming into Garanon at 82km

Still in the lead was Collet at a fast pace (9:35 elapsed) seven minutes ahead of Grinius who looked like he was working hard.

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Gediminas Grinius chasing for the lead at Garanon 82km

Hermansen was now on his charge and was only two minutes behind Grinius and was moving comfortably climbing up to the aid station.

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Andy Symonds & Jonas Budd reach Garanon 82km

 

The course this year had rerouted its last twenty five kilometres to make for a better finishing route and runners were treated to a slightly technical but more enjoyable finishing experience. At the small village of Ayaguares (107km) situated next to a dam and just prior to another ascent was the penultimate aid station. The runners came in and did a mini switchback through the aid station before heading back and then over the dam wall and onwards and upwards. Hermansen arrived first, coolly running into the aid station with 12:17 on the clock. As Grinius was literally two minutes behind, Hermansen made a very quick exit to try and extend his short lead. Grinius conscious of the twenty five kilometres left and the effort he would need to chase down Hermansen decided to make sure he refuelled well and stayed in longer. Collet was in third, look tired and five minutes down followed by Capell and Pazos who were running together in fourth and fifth.

IMG_2262

Pau Capell & Diego Pazos running together at Ayagaures

Andy Symonds was in sixth looking comfortable with an easy running stride. The wait for Chaverot wasn’t long as she arrived with 13:34 elapsed.  Looking fresh and with plenty of zip she cruised in and out of the aid station amid loud cheers.

IMG_2282

Andrea Huser consolidating second place – Ayagaures

But the wait for a second place Huser was long, 1:40 and she looked tired but made sure to refuel properly by walking out of the aid station. Azpeitia was ten minutes down on Huser and obviously made up ground in those final kilometres but not enough to take second.  All credit to Huser.

 

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Uxue Fraile Azpeitia staying strong for a third place and podium finish – Ayagaures 

Hermansen’s win followed his second place here last year and his win at Lavaredo. He goes on to Western States and hopefully UTMB later this year. He is on the up and we look forward to seeing him again on the big stage.

 

Chaverot was clearly in a race of her own. Phenomenal pace and guts to take it out from the front which is fast becoming her trademark method.  Again, like Hermansen she won at Lavaredo last year and was second at TGC.

Is this the forming of a new guard?

Men’s Results

1 Didrik Hermansen 13:41:48
2 Gediminas Grinius 13:45:08
3 Pau Capell 14:11:02
4 Diego Pazos 14:11:02
5 Andy Symonds 14:14:55
6 Jonas Budd 14:21:39
7 Julien Chorier 14:24:59
8 Vaidas Zlabys 14:30:17
9 Javier Dominguez-Ledo 14:39:46
10 Jordi Gamito-Baus 14:48:27

Women’s Results

1 Caroline Chaverot 15:23:40
2 Andrea Huser 17:21:43
3 Uxue Fraile-Azpeitia 17:28:05
4 Silvia Trigueros-Garrote 18:31:54
5 Adriana Vargas 18:35:21
6 Sophie Grant 18:43:22
7 Alexandra Clain 18:43:24
8 Lucinda Sousa 18:46:42
9 Dong Li 19:20:40
10 Denise Zimmerman 19:49:05

 

2016 TRANSGRANCANARIA RACE PREVIEW

The third race in the Ultra Trail World Tour takes place this coming weekend. Transgrancaria is a 125km traverse of the island of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands from North to South.

GRINIUS GARANONLast’s years race saw Lituanian Gediminas Grinius and the Catalan Nuria Picas take out the wins with a new men’s course record of 14:23:27 and a second successive win at Transgrancanaria for Picas in 16:53:27. Both are returning for this year’s raceIMG_0209

Men’s race

Here are the top ten from last year with their finish times and relative UTWT ranking. Seven return this year to race Transgrancanaria.

TGC 2015 Name Time UTWT Ranking 2015 TGC – 2016
1 Gediminas Grinius 14:23:27 2nd Returning TGC 2016 – 3rd Vibram HK 2016, 1st UTMF 2015, 4th WSER 2015.
2 Didrik Hermansen 14:30:07 9th Returning TGC 2016 – 1st Lavaredo 2015.
3 Antoine Guillon 14:39:35 1st Returning TGC 2016 – 1st Diagonal des Fous 2015, 3rd Vibram HK 2015.
4 Sondre Amdahl 15:06:37 4th Returning TGC 2016 – 2nd Vibram HK 2015, 4th UTMF 2015
5 Cyril Cointre 15:28:22 5th Returning TGC 2016 – 10th Tarawera 2016, 4th Vibram HK 2015.
6 Anton Krupicka 15:29:49 89th
7 Remi Queral 15:59:11 37th
8 Freddy Thevenin 16:07:06 3rd Returning TGC 2016 – 3rd Diagonal des Fous 2015
9 Marco Zanchi 16:25:13 29th Returning TGC 2016 – 8th Lavaredo 2015
10 Piotr Hercog 16:30:45 21st

 

Other men’s contenders

Pau Bartolo Roca – Spain – 6th Tarawera 2015, 9th TNF 100 2015, 1st CCC 2014

Jonas Budd – Sweden – 1st Tarawera 2016, 1st Ultra Vasan 2015

Pau Capell Gil – Spain – 4th Vibram HK 2016, 6th CCC 2015

Sebastien Chaigneau – France – 3rd UTMF 2013, 1st TGC 2013, 1st TGC 2012, 3rd TGC 2011

Julien Chorier – France – 6th WSER 2015, 8th TNF 100 2015, 2nd TGC 2014

Franco Colle – Italy – 1st The Rut 2015, 2nd Mont Blanc 80k 2015, 1st Tor Des Geants 2015, 2nd Eiger Ultra 2014

Aurelien Collet – France – 3rd Diagonal des Fous 2014

Yeray Duran – Spain – 5th Vibram HK 2016, 3rd Lavaredo 2015, 4th TGC 2014

Christophe Le Saux – France – 7th Eiger Ultra 2015  – TGC Advanced

Arnaud Lejeune – France – 2nd UTMF 2015, 8th UTMB 2013, 8th UTMB 2012

Yan Longfei – China – 2nd Vibram HK 2016,1st Vibram 2015, 4th TNF 100 2015

Casey Morgan – UK – 10th TGC 2014

Seth Swanson – USA – 4th UTMB 2015, 2nd WSER 2015, 2nd WSER 2014

Tim Tollefson – USA – 2nd CCC 2015

Javi Dominguez – Spain – 5th Diagonal des Fous 2014, 7th TGC 2014, 3rd UTMB 2013

Miguel Heras – Spain

Fulvio Dapit – Italy

Stefano Trisconi – Italy

Jordi Bes Ginesta – Spain

Marco Molinari – Italy

Matt Moroz – Hong Kong

Joe Grant – USA – on start list but not running

Kim Collison – UK

 

Women’s race

Here are the top ten from last year with their finish times and relative UTWT ranking. Like the men seven return for this year to race Transgrancanaria.

TGC 2015 Name Time UTWT Ranking 2015 TGC – 2016
1 Nuria Picas 16:53:27 1st Returning TGC 2016 – 3rd Tarawera 2015, 1st Diagonal des Fous 2015, 1st UTMF 2014, 2nd UTNB 2014, 1st TGC 2014, 1st TNF100 2014
2 Caroline Chaverot 17:16:48 4th Returning TGC 2016 – 1st Lavaredo 2015, 1st Eiger Ultra 2015
3 Dong Li 18:15:55 2nd Returning TGC 2016 – 1st Vibram HK 2016, 2nd Vibram HK 2015, 1st TNF 100 2015. 4th Mont Blanc 80k 2015.
4 Andrea Huser 18:37:53 5th Returning TGC 2016 – 3rd Diagonal des Fous 2015, 2nd Eiger Ultra 2015, 7th Lavaredo 2015, 7th UTMB 2014
5 Manu Vilaseca 18:42:59 8th Returning TGC 2016 – 5th Lavaredo 2015, 10th UTMB 2015, 5th UTMF 2014, 8th Lavaredo 2014
6 Ester Alves 19:11:45 23rd
7 Lucinda Sousa 19:25:46 21st Returning TGC 2016
8 Aliza Lapierre 19:58:48 7th
9 Raquel Rivero Delgado 20:24:16 54th
10 Silvia Trigueros 20:38:18 10th Returning TGC 2016 – 3rd Vibram HK 2016, 4th UTMB 2015, 5th UTMB 2013

 

Other Women’s contenders

Lisa Borzani – Italy – 2nd Vibram HK 2016, 3rd Vibram HK 2015, 10th Laveredo 2015.

Emelie Lecomte – France – 2nd Diagonal des Fous 2015, 7th Eiger Ultra 2015, 5th Transvulcania 2013.

Denise Zimmerman – Switzerland – 3rd UTMB 2015, 6th Lavaredo 2015, 5th Eiger Ultra 2015, 7th Diagonal des Fous 2014, 3rd Eiger Ultra 2014.

Uxue Fraile-Azpeitia – Spain – 1st UTMF 2015, 2nd UTMB 2015, 5th UTMB 2014, 6th TGC 2014, 4th Eiger Ultra 2015, 3rd Diagonal des Fous 2014

Rory Bosio – USA – on start list but not running

 

ULTRA RUNNING NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

In this month’s column we bring you news from the opening rounds of the Ultra Trail World Tour in Hong Kong and New Zealand.

The UTWT series has twelve events spanning five continents and ranging from 100km to 100miles.  The third race in the series is in the Canary Islands – Transgrancanaria.

Hong Kong 100

Fresh from winter training and a lay off of a couple of months (was it really that long?) the UTWT season opener in Hong Kong was likely to be hot and humid but weather conditions this year surprised everyone! With think frost turning into ice the race was rerouted and eventually stopped early.

Francois D’Haene was out in the lead pack with second place Yan Long Fei from China. These two would leap frog each other interchanging as each technical section switched to a flatter one with Long Fei marathon speed dominating on the flatter sections. D’Haene eventually raced out ahead taking a new course record in the process. Lithuanian Gediminas Grinius had a super solid race running in third place comfortably ahead of Pau Capell of Spain by thirteen minutes.

China’s Dong Li commanded the women’s race leading from the start and taking out the win in a very respectable 12:05:32 and over twenty-five minutes ahead of Italy’s Lisa Borzani. Spanish runner Silvia Trigueros briefly held second place and lost out to Borzani over the final kilometres finishing just four minutes behind.

Hong Kong – 100km

Men Time
1 Francois D’haene 09:32:26
2 Yan Long-Fei 09:37:17
3 Gediminas Grinius 09:53:51

 

Women Time
1 Dong Li 12:05:32
2 Lisa Borzani 12:30:41
3 Silvia Trigueros 12:34:23

Tarawera

For the second round of the UTWT we headed off to New Zealand for 100km of warm rain. Sweden’s Jonas Budd and New Zealand’s Fiona Hayvice were the ones who took top spot on the podium.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND – FEBRUARY 06: Jonas Buud of Sweden cools off during the Tarawera Ultramarathon on February 6, 2016 in Rotorua, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Jonas Budd was to lead from start to finish closely tracked by Australian David Byrne but Budd’s devilish speed enabled him to push ahead at around 72 kilometres and from there it was a sure fire victory. Byrne finishing twenty-two minutes back was exhausted but pleased with his performance given that this was his longest ultra to date. South Africa’s Ryan Sandes, after a terrible 2015 recovering from over-racing in 2014, came with back with a bang and took a creditable third place.

American’s Jason Schlarb and Michael Wardian were sixth and seventh respectively.

Ruby Muir was the pre race favourite but dropped after suffering with quad issues but succumbing to stomach problems at around 80 kilometers. Fiona Hayvice took advantage and had been tracking Muir and then took full advantage with twenty kilometres to go. Australian’s Melissa Robertson and New Zealand’s Fiona Eagles grabbed second and third respectively.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND – FEBRUARY 06: Fiona Hayvice of New Zealand celebrates while crossing the finish line to win the Tarawera Ultramarathon on February 6, 2016 in Rotorua, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Tarawera – 100km

Men Time
1 Jonas Budd 08:00:53
2 David Byrne 08:22:39
3 Ryan Sandes 08:30:40

 

Women Time
1 Fiona Hayvice 10:34:26
2 Melissa Robertson 10:56:20
3 Fiona Eagles 11:24:57

The next event in the UTWT calendar is Transgrancanaria on the Canary island of Gran Canaria off the coast of North West Africa. A challenging event of 125km traversing the island from North to South along it’s mountainous spine and finally reaching the beachfront of Meloneras.  It is usually hot and dry, so the conditions will test the runner’s heat acclimation and hydration. Some have fallen due to the early season heat. It looks like there is a stacked field so watch out for our pre-race guide to the top runners bidding for success at Transgrancanaria.