Transvulcania La Palma in 2012 was billed as the race of the decade…. that is until the 2013 edition of the race came around. Without doubt the race was stacked and finally we would have a show down of the best of the best racing head to head in the men’s and ladies fields.
The start of race week saw a couple of key withdrawals, firstly the ‘Queen’ as Nuria Picas calls her, Anna Frost. Anna has been plagued with niggles since late 2012 and as much as she would have loved to race, she made the correct long term decision and withdrew.
Miguel Heras, also withdrew midweek. Knee issues had not improved and he would therefore, like Frosty, play safe.
Pre race build up was quite incredible as one elite athlete after another arrived at Hotel Sol La Palma on the coast. I did a series of pre race interviews which can all be viewed on the ‘home page’ of this website. One of those interviews had been with Anton Krupicka (Here), finally he was fit, healthy and he was looking forward to the opportunity to one again race Kilian on a course that he had only encountered as a spectator in 2012. But would he race…. ?
The day before the race, Tony complained of fever, chills and aches and then at approximately 1800 he confirmed, “I am going to pull out. I race to win and I don’t like to bail. The way I feel now will just not do me or my performance justice”. Needless to say it was a huge blow not only for Tony, who certainly needs some good luck at the moment, but the race and all the other runners.
Early starts of 0200 to 0300 and then 1000+ runners assembled at the lighthouse at Fuencaliente. It is just an incredible start and atmosphere. On the strong of 0600 they left the coast and turned left, headed immediately onto the GR131 trail and like a series of ants with head lamps and red tail lights they disappeared into the darkness.
The mens’s race ultimately came down the three runners, Sage Canaday, Luis Alberto Hernando and Kilian Jornet. But that would not do justice to those runners behind, Timothy Olson ran a very clever race starting a little steadier and working his way up through the field to a solid fourth. Cameron Clayton, played an early role pushing up front with Sage but paid the price and dropped back a little. Of course we should forget dark horse, Patrick Bringer who eventually finished fifth.
During the race one key issue arose… stomach problems! Francois D’Haene, Philipp Reiter, Joe Grant, Luke Nelson and Adam Campbell were all hit by a bug (maybe what TK had?) and spent much of the 83km’s either running for the bushes or vomiting. A real shame!
But up ahead, Luis Alberto Hernando showed all his skills as Skyrunning world champion and forged up the tough and sometimes technical course to have an approximate two minute lead ahead of Kilian Jornet at Roques de los Muchachos, the high point of the course at 2956m.
Kilian put all his incredible descending skills to use on the ‘drop’ from the summit to the sea and the port of Tazacorte. This is the place in 2012 when he stumbled and the heat hit him! Not this year, he pushed ahead and arrived to an incredible finish in the town of Los Llanos to the applause and cheers of 1000’s of spectators. Not only did he win but he set a new CR*. Luis Alberto Hernando arrived just over four minutes later and he looked ecstatic (and tired) with a second place. Completing the podium was Sage Canaday who performed exceptionally well in his first European mountain race.
- Kilian Jornet – 6:54:09 NEW COURSE RECORD* – pre race interview HERE
- Luis Alberto Hernando – 6:58:31 (*beat the old course record)
- Sage Canaday – 7:09:57 – pre race interview HERE
- Timothy Olson – 7:11:53 – pre race interview HERE
- Patrick Bringer – 7:17:19
- Francois d’Haene – 7:17:43
- Cameron Clayton – 7:17:47
- Miguel Caballero Ortega – 7:30:49
- Cristofer Clemente – 7:37:40
- Marcin Świerc – 7:52:21
Emelie Forsberg one again proved herself to be a star in the making. She literally only started running again just over a week ago and she had a battle royal with Nuria Picas. They pushed each other along the 83km’s of the Transvulcania course but ultimately Emelie found something in the latter stages and crossed the line first, just outside ‘Frosty’s’ CR from 2012.
Nuria, gave the race everything and was tired and emotional on the line. She has a big heart, not only in terms of her generosity but also passion and power. She loves to race and in particular, she loves to race against Emelie. Without doubt the two of them created a spectacular show on the trails of the GR131, today, it was Nuria’s turn to be second behind Emelie, just over six minutes difference.
Final spot on the podium went to Uxue Fraile. She ran a very smart race. She started behind many of the front runners and slowly worked her way up through the field. She had experience of the course as she placed fifth in 2012. What was impressive was how much quicker she covered the 83km’s. In 2012 she was ninety minutes behind Frosty, this year she was just over thirty one minutes behind Emelie.
- Emelie Forsberg – 8:13:22
- Nuria Picas – 8:19:30 – pre race interview HERE
- Uxue Fraile – 8:44:48
- Nathalie Mauclair – 8:46:14
- Emilie Lecomte – 10:14:05
- Karine Samson – 10:37:05
- Mar Ferreras – 10:47:57
- Raquel Antonia Delgado – 10:51:33
- Luciana Moretti – 11:02:54
- Lidia Gomez – 11:16:37
You can listen what Anna Frost had to say in a pre race interview HERE
It was an incredible day, an incredible experience, a beautiful island, a beautiful course with an incredible field. The race fulfilled all expectations and our congratulations go to Kilian & Emelie on two incredible performances.
RACE DAY IMAGES HERE