Imagine starting in the far north on a volcanic island and travelling to the southern tip by foot. During a night, a day and maybe even another night, it is possible to cross mountain peaks, run through deep valleys, past incredible rock formations, through pine forest and along dry riverbeds taking in the flagship race that makes the Transgrancanaria ‘Classic’ race – now 20-years old.
“I love Transgrancanaria because it’s the ultimate race. It has everything. Technical paths, flow paths, heat, running through the night and both terrain and time of day change. The atmosphere is top notch, both among the runners and those who cheer.” – Margrethe Fjetland Løvold
A rollercoaster, both mentally and physically, the trip will require you to dig deep, but in the process create unforgettable memories. Night trails to Teror and Artenara. The village of Tajeda. Sunrise at Roque Nublo. The steep climbing and descent to San Bartolomé de Tirajana and then the dusty, rocky and sandy trails that lead to the finish in Maspalomas.
“Transgrancanaria is a race I have dreamed of for several years. Standing on the starting line with 700 other like-minded ultra-runners in an insane mood is difficult to describe. There are people everywhere on the trail, at all hours of the day, cheering you on. One of my highlights as an ultra-runner!” – Frode Wiggen
This is Transgrancanaria! A point-to-point race that allows one to experience some of the best trails that Gran Canaria has to offer. The race is world famous and attracts thousands of runners from around the world. Here the elite gather to compete for the honor and glory in Europe’s first big race of the season.
It’s a race for all, not just the elite. The 2022 edition was won by Pablo Villa and Ragna Debats, but most who start just dream of a finish. Winning in 13-hours for the 128km race is far removed from those who will battle one day and two nights to finish in under 30-hours. No matter what time, the welcome is incredible.
The 2022 edition will be remembered for a wild and challenging night – cold temperatures, strong winds, rain and even snow. It was a challenge for all! But soon after Roque Nublo, dropping below the cloud, the weather changed and warm sun and blue skies welcomed participants. It was unbelievable to witness and no doubt challenged each runner as they tried to adapt.
Pabo Villa paced himself through the night and took a convincing lead as daylight arrived. He was pursued by Pau Capell – the duo finished side-by-side in 2020. However, Pablo was too strong and he took an incredible win ahead of Pau and Pere Aurell.
For the women, Abby Hall lead the way through the night feeling very strong. However, Ragna Debats eventually caught the adidas athlete and passed her to forge ahead for victory in 16:21:29, a lead of 21-minutes over Abby. Claudia Tremps completed the podium.
In the Advanced race, Tom Evans had one of those classic stories that you read in many magazines… Plagued by injury, he had some serious operations in 2021, started a long rehabilitation process and then returned to a big race and won! What a story. Aritz Egea pushed the adidas athlete but in the end, Tom was too strong, Aritz finished 10-minutes later. Matthieu Delpeuch finished 3rd.
Ariana Wilhem finished ahead of Johanna Antila and Leah Yingling for a closely fought female Advanced podium.
In the marathon, Sebastian Ljungdahl and Sara Alonso ran too incredible and fast performances to take victory. Sara’s performance a course record. Despite the speed, they were close races with Marten Boström and Antonio Martínez completing the men’s podium. For the women, Toni McCann had a great first race in Europe placing 2nd and Anna Comet placed 3rd.
Full results listed below.
The Classic and the Marathon races feature in the Spartan Trail World Championships.
Transgrancanaria has distances for every runner, the organization realise that a north-to-south journey is too much for many. Therefore, they offer multiple options: Advanced (62km), Marathon (43km), Starter (26km) or Promo (15km) – all taking place on sections of the full route.VK El Gigante, new for 2022, is a great 1000m climb starting from San Pedro in the Ageate area of the island.
Experienced ultra and mountain runner, Abelone Lyng toed the line of the Advanced race after a full-on week pre-race, exploring the island.
“The weather was wild in the first 30 km with gusts of wind that almost blew me over a couple of times. We had mud and believe it or not, snow! But the last half of the race was cloudless skies and scorching sun. I liked the trail after Roque Nublo, it was steep and technical.”
With stunning beaches, sea, stunning weather, trails and mountains, this island in the Canaries is one of ‘the’ go-to places for racing or training. It’s no coincidence that Transgrancanaria is now in its 21st year – a clear example of why this island is a Mecca for trail and mountain runners. So, what are you going?
Words and Text by Abelone Lyng
1. Pablo Villa (SPA). 13:37:30
2. Pau Capell (SPA). 13:58:47
3. Pere Aurell (SPA). 14:12:02
1. Ragna Debats (NED). 16:00:14
2. Abby Hall (USA). 16:21:29
3. Claudia Tremps (SPA). 16:45:35
1. Tom Evans (GRB). 05:10:39
2. Aritz Egea (SPA). 05:20:25
3. Matthieu Delpeuch (FRA). 05:31:44
1. Ariana Wilhem (SUI). 06:06:16
2. Johanna Antila (FIN). 06:10:29
3. Leah Yingling (USA). 06:35:49
1. Sebastian Ljungdahl (SUE). 03:02:00
2. Marten Boström (FIN). 03:05:07
3. Antonio Martínez (SPA). 03:08:02
1. Sara Alonso (SPA). 03:30:10
2. Toni McCann (ZAF). 03:34:03
3. Anna Comet (SPA). 03:37:26
1. Alberto Vender (ITA). 01:35:51
2. Eduard Hernández (SPA). 01:38:34
3. Damián Ramis (SPA). 01:40:50
1. Mélina Grosjean (FRA). 01:57:45
2. Ainara Uribarri (SPA). 02:00:20
3. Georgia Tindley (GRB). 02:04:11
1. Daniel Pattis (ITA). 00:44:31
2. Jürgen Lui (GER). 00:53:38
3. Jorge Álvarez (SPA). 00:54:14
1. Sasa Torkar (SLO). 01:07:47
2. Lara Cordero (SPA). 01:08:28
3. Mar González (SPA). 01:08:36
1. Mael Allaire (FRA). 00:46:40
2. Saúl Rodríguez (SPA). 00:51:47
3. Aarón Felipe (SPA). 00:53:23
1. Noelia Santana (SPA). 01:28:35
CLASIFICACIÓN KV EL GIGANTE
1. Chris Richards (GBR). 00:39:05
2. Ricardo Cherta (SPA). 00:41:33
3. Yoann Stuck (FRA). 00:42:48
1. Gisela Carrión (SPA). 00:48:50
2. Georgia Tindley (GBR). 00:49:40
3. Mélina Clerc-Grosjean (FRA). 00:53:23
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