Many of the top elite runners assembled in Maslpalomas, Gran Canaria yesterday evening for the Transgrancanaria 2016 elite press conference.
In the past few years, Transgrancanaria has grown as the first big European race that in many ways sets the scene for what is to come later in the year.
The 2016 edition of the race is no different.
2015 champion Gediminas Grinius is back and looking to defend his crown but he is going to have a tough job. He said:
“I feels no pressure now but as I stand on the start, the tension will come and then will be soon released. I am here to perform to the best of my ability.”
Seth Swanson from the USA is considered to be a dark horse, his repeat 2nd places at the past editions of Western States and 4th at UTMB not only means that he has pace to run fast but that he can also climb and descend.
“I’m really happy to be back in Europe and the opportunity to run across an island, from the top to the bottom, is one of the unique attraction of the Transgrancanaria race.”
Julien Chorier, Yan Long Fei, Antoine Guillon, Didrik Hermansen, Jonas Buud, Tim Tollefson, Sondre Amdahl, Andy Symonds, Seb Chaigneau, Yeray Duran are just some of the other top elite men who will contest the finish line on Saturday outside the Palais de Congress in Maspalomas.
The ladies race has less depth but two time champion Nuria Picas is back and of course a hot favourite for victory. Last years 2nd placed lady, Caroline Chaverot is also one to watch:
“I want to have a good race, a pleasant journey and I hope I don’t get lost… last year I made a couple of mistakes.”
The USA’s Angela Shartel was also present and excited to be racing in Europe for the first time.
Dong Li, Uxue Fraile, Manuela Vilaseca, Lisa Borzani, Anrea Huser and Silvia Trigueros are also hot contenders for the top-3 podium places.
Racing starts at 2300 (local time) on Friday March 4th
Read a full race preview HERE