What a stunning location and what an inspirational day of running. For the first time, La Palma and Transvulcania La Palma held an inaugural Skyrunning Vertical Kilometer® on the zigzag trails leading from the beaches of Tazacorte, onwards and upwards and into the clouds.
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Hundreds of spectators turned out and lined the route in a scenario, not dissimilar to a scene in the Tour de France. Late evening heat, blue skies and a plethora of some of the best vertical runners in the world made the inaugural Transvulcania VK® an awe inspiring event.
It’s quite incredible when one looks up at the mountain that a trail weaves its way onwards and upwards. Weave it does and the views are quite incredible when one sees the beads of sweat and facial grimaces contrasted by the pastel coloured houses of Tazacorte behind.
Departing in 30-second or 1-minute intervals, runners departed the beach with just one objective; who could reach the finish line in the shortest time.
Laura Orgue, Antonella Confortola, Emelie Forsberg would without doubt make an impact on the race, however, Elisa Dresco (wife of mountain running legend, Marco De Gasperi) used her speed and mountain skills to triumph on the day. Laura Orgue, Skyrunner® World Series VK Champion form 2013 placed 2nd and Azara Garcia de los Salmones Marcano 3rd.
Emelie Forsberg fresh from a very full ski season decided not to complete the whole distance preferring to use the event as a warm up for the ultra on Saturday.
Kilian Jornet running on Spanish soil is treated like a hero, calm and relaxed, Kilian takes the pressure from adoring crowds in his stride and despite little running (Kilian like Emelie has just stepped off skis) placed 3rd. The day however went to the Dematteis brothers, Bernard and Martin who placed 1st and 2nd respectively. They produced to quality runs and reaped the just rewards.
On the podium, to the blasting sounds of AC/DC, the brothers provided us with some quality showboating proving that Skyrunning is without doubt a sport that not only requires grit, fitness and determination but it also requires passion, fun and humor.
Attention turns now to the main event, the Transvulcania La Palma ultra race that will start in the early hours of Saturday morning. Stay tuned for what will be an incredible event.
- Bernard Dematteis 47:23
- Martin Dematteis 48:26
- Kilian Jornet 49:33
- Elisa Desco 59:43
- Laura Orgue 1:01:10
- Azara Garcia de los Salmones Marcano 1:01:42
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