Petter Engdahl came of age today as he pushed a relentless pace right from the gun at the 2019 Transvulcania. The only runner brave enough to follow was Ruy Ueda and the duo pushed together over much of the volcano sections all the way to El Pilar.
Behind, runners lined up to chase including Thibaut Garrivier, Marco De Gasperi, Dmitry Mityaev, Jon Albon and a who’s who of top-talent.
Engdahl looked calm and relaxed and considering this is only his second year in skyrunning and his longest race so far, he was brave to take on the front. It was expected that Ueda and De Gasperi would push and test him. However, no! Both dropped before 30km leaving the young gun out front being chased by Garrivier and Mityaev.
At Rouques de los Muchachos, the 18km drop to Tazacorte beach is a formidable descent not only for the legs and lungs but also the mind. Engdahl found the pressure to intense and relinquished his lead, firstly to Garrivier and then Mityaev.
From the beach, as the runners ran through a slot canyon, the writing was on the wall. Garrivier had extended a lead of 5-minutes to the Russian and equally, Mityaev had extended a lead of 5-minutes over Engdahl. It remained that way to the line with Garrivier taking a great win in 7:11:04 ahead of Mityaev 7:14:23 and Engdahl 7:21:28. The UK’s Jon Albon moved up from outside the top-10 to place 4th and Diego Pazos was 5th.
Anne-Lise Rousset dictated the pace in the women’s race and over the opening 18km she looked strong. Behind, pre-race favourite, Ragna Debats fresh from victory at Marathon des Sables pushed but looked to be playing a waiting game. Behind, Megan Kimmel followed along with Kristin Berglund and Ekaterina Mityaeva.
The heat and the pace took its toll and as Rousset slowed, Debats turned up the gears and applied the pressure, no doubt the sandy terrain and heat feeling ‘normal’ after her Moroccan adventure.
The speed increased and Debats took an incredible victory in 8:09:25 dominating the race. Rousset held on for 2nd, no doubt the course and conditions hurting everyone and Kimmel rounded out the top-3, their times 8:25:11 and 8:35:03. Russian Mityaeva placed 4th and Berglund 5th.
1. Thibaut Garrivier (FRA) Hoka One One – 7:11:04
2. Dmitry Mityaev (RUS) Adidas Terrex – 7:14:23
3. Petter Engdahl (SWE) Salomon Running – 7:21:28
4. Jonathan Albon (GBR) Gore / VJ Shoes – 7:36:34
5. Diego Pazos (SWI) Compressport – 7:41:48
1. Ragna Debats (NED) Merrell – 8:09:25
2. Anne-Lise Rousset (FRA) Oxsitis-Odlo – 8:25:11
3. Megan Kimmel (USA) Salomon Running – 8:35:03
4. Ekaterina Mityaeva (RUS) Adidas Terrex – 8:53:02
5. Kristin Berglund (AUS) Salomon Running – 8:58:10
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