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The 2014 Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma was always going to be quite a race. The men’s field was stacked and although the ladies field lacked the depth of the men’s, we knew that a showdown was expected. The withdrawal of Nuria Picas in the days before the race certainly impacted on the ladies at the front end. This would leave a potential head-to-head with Frosty, 2012 champion, racing Emelie Forsberg, 2013 champion. Unfortunately, this battle came to an abrupt end when Emelie was pushed to the floor in the early stages of the race, despite trying to continue she eventually had to retire and was immediately taken to hospital for stitches and surgery.
Luis Alberto Hernando has played second fiddle to Kilian Jornet far too many times… in 2013, the Spaniard pushed the Catalan close and despite a joint victory at Trans D’Havet he never had the better of the Salomon runner. That is until today! Matching Kilian step-for-step, Luis Alberto finally made a move on the tough long descent from Roques de los Muchachos, opened up a 30-second gap which he then extended to almost 6-minutes at the line. It was a consummate performance by one of the most liked and modest runners in the world.
Luis’s win was not easy though, Sage Canaday, to my surprise; repeated his tactic of 2013 and took to the front early and pushed hard to open a gap. Like in ‘13’ the gap he opened was reeled in and then he slowly lost contact with an inform Kilian and Luis pushing at the front.
Despite high-profile talent, the expected battle with Dakota Jones, Timmy Olson and several other key players never materialized and instead we saw a return to form for Tofol Castanyer, the rise of Stephan Hugenschmidt and an incredible first ultra by Brit, Tom Owens.
It was an incredible day, but much of the talk has centered on the incredible comeback by Anna ‘Frosty’ Frost. You would have had to have been living in a cave to not know that Frosty has been struggling for the last 18-months with injury. It was an on and off affair that could have potentially stopped the unstoppable Kiwi racing again. However, just like Roy Hobbs in ‘The Natural’, Frosty hit the ball out of the field, grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck right from the start and lead from start to finish. Incredible!
Maite Mayora was my dark horse prediction for a shock performance and she didn’t let me down… her incredible ability at mountain and Skyrunning was put to great use on the trails of the GR131 and despite this being her first ultra, Maite produced a top-quality 2nd place.
Uxue Fraile once again showed that she has the grit and determination to hold on and mop up the places for 3rd and Emma Roca showed true grit and placed 4th despite fighting an obvious leg problem. Jodee Adams-Moore looked at one stage that she would place 3rd, she actually placed 6th behind Anne Lise Rousset.
The 2014 edition of the Transvulcania La Palma was once again and incredible and inspirational day of trail and mountain running and we have the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) to thank for that. In 2012, Transvulcania was added to the Skyrunner® World Series when it had just 555 entrants, this year the entry list was 2000; four times the numbers! It just goes to show what an event this has become and for many, it is now considered a ‘bucket list race.’
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- Luis Alberto Hernando – ESP adidas 6:55:41
- Kilian Jornet ESP Salomon 7:01:34
- Sage Canaday USA Hoka One One 7:11:39
- Tofol Castanyer ESP Salomon 7:23:56
- Stephan Hugenschmidt GER Salomon 7:27:10
- Tom Owens GBR Salomon 7:31:15
- Mauel Merillas ESP 7:34:55
- Timothy Olson 7:35:22
- Pablo Villa ESP Scott 7:36:12
- Dakota Jones USA Montrail 7:42:35
- Anna Frost NZL Salomon 8:10:41
- Maite Mayora ESP La Sportiva 8:48:01
- Uxue Fraile ESP Vibram 8:48:01
- Emma Roca ESP Compressport/ Buff 8:58:45
- Anne Lise Rousset FRA Team Race Land 9:10:29
- Jodee Adams-Moore USA Scott Sports 9:19:14
- Andrea Huser SUI 9:28:25
- Krissy Moehl USA Patagonia 9:29:00
- Frederica Boifava ITA Alpsation 9:41:32
- Alessandra Carlini ITA Salomon/ Agisko 9:47:25
Are you ready for the 2015 Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma? I am…