|Transvulcania. Frosty and Dakota winners|
Twenty-one year-old American Dakota Jones just shot to international stardom on winning the Transvulcania Ultra Marathon on May 12 on the island of La Palma, Spain. The women’s winner was Anna Frost from New Zealand. Both set impressive new course records, especially Frost who sliced 1h45 minutes off the women’s record and came 13th overall. The extreme heat and gruelling course caused a number of casualties including one of the favourites, Sebastien Chaigneu. The winning times were 6h58’44” for Jones and 8h11’31” for Frost.
Competing in a field of some of the best ultra runners in the world, Jones was elated – and a little surprised. “I had hoped for the best possible outcome but I didn’t expect to win - running with Kilian and knowing what he’s capable of. “
Anna “Frosty”, Frost with her usual intense dedication had spent five weeks on the island, training on the course. “Despite my stay here I was nervous before but I had an incredible day. The support and organisation motivated me. Getting to know the course helped, so I could break the race down into pieces and pace myself.”
Britain’s Andy Symonds, as predicted, was on the podium and took second place to Jones. For most of the race, he was pacing himself only a minute behind Jones and Kilian Jornet. On the last stretch, Jones powered ahead of both men to finish in with a new course record.
For Jonet, after only a few days of closing a successful ski-mountaineering season, the harsh change of climate, from winter to summer, took it’s toll and, at 77 km on the 2,500m descent, he succumbed, finishing in third place. “It was good running with Dakota. He’s really organised and strong and he ran an intelligent race. I’m really happy for him.”
Last year’s winner, Iker Karera, finished 5th, 6 minutes after his winning time and record: 7h32’.
Among the top finishers were Americans Rickey Gates who, despite a hamstring injury, rolled in in 10th position followed by Joe Grant in 12th, Mike Wolfe in 13th and Ian Sharman, 15th.
As predicted, Anton Krupicka’s shin injury prevented him from running.
Spain’s Nuria Picas was on great form, with a second place in 8h52’, while American ultra runners, Nikki Kimball (9h10’01”) and Darcy Africa (9h17’36”) took third and fourth places respectively.
The strong international team participation includes major industry players:
Adidas, Arc’teryx, Asics, Montrail, New Balance, Pearl Izumi, Platinum Sigvaris, Salomon, The North Face.
The incredible results and prestigious international line-up kicked off the first of the Ultra races on the Skyrunner® World Series calendar (see below), which is also valid for the combined world champion points.
Many of the top international runners will move on to the first of the Series’ main races on May 20th with the all-time favourite Zegama-Aikorri race where another contest of champions will take place.
2012 ULTRA SKYMARATHON® SERIES
*SPAIN:TRANSVULCANIA ULTRA MARATHON, LA PALMA – MAY 12
USA: Speedgoat 50K, Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY: Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon, Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN: Cavalls del Vent, Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park, Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE: La Course des Templiers, Millau, Grands Causses - October 28