|Transvulcania – Hernando and Frosty triumph|
Luis Alberto Hernando, for many years at the top of the skyrunning ranking, eternally second to Kilian Jornet, today realised his dream and crossed the Transvulcania Ultramarathon finish line first, triumphant, ahead of his long-time friend and rival.
Anna Frost made a glorious comeback after her extraordinary 2012 win where she sliced 1h45’ off the course record. After a year of health issues, she turned up in great shape, leading the race from start to finish and bettered her own record by 1’10”. Last year’s winner and 2012 Skyrunning World Champion Emelie Forsberg was injured on the start line and, despite a serious cut on her fore-arm, ploughed on for three hours before being forced to retire.
In the deepest field to date, the men’s race, like last year, was headed by American Sage Canaday, who led the pace to the second check point at El Reventón, at 31 km. From here, Luis and Kilian, both looking fresh and relaxed, took over the lead, which they held to the finish.
At El Roque de los Muchachas, the 2,423m summit 57.8 km into the race, Luis was closely followed by Kilian. "We were running fast, not pushing it, talking sometimes. It's not just about racing, the sunrise was so beautiful," Kilian commented.
The pair opened up a seven-minute gap on Sage. Ten minutes later, they were followed by Tofol Castanyer, Stephan Jugenschmidt, Tom Owens, Manuel Merillas, Timothy Olson, Pablo Villa and Dakota Jones, 2012 winner. “I just didn’t have it in me today”, said a disappointed Dakota at the finish line.
On the sharp, steep 18 km descent which tumbles 2,520m back down to the ocean, Kilian suffered from heat-stroke, but found strength from the crowds of passionate supporters to take him to the finish line where he closed second, just under 6 minutes after Luis’s triumphant win.
The women’s race, with Emelie retired and Nuria Picas absent, the field was left open for Anna, followed only by Maite Mayora just seven minutes behind at the summit. Twenty-six minutes on, a group was led by Uxue Fraile, Jodee Adams-Moore, Anne-Lise Rousset, Emma Roca and Krissy Moehl. but no-one could come close. Anna cruised to the finish line and the raucous applause of the crowds, to close in 8h10’41” with a new record.
With 2,000 runners on the pre-dawn ocean-front start-line, Transvulcania has come to represent everything that is skyrunning. Much has been published, filmed and photographed, liked and shared. Since the race represented the launch of the Skyrunner® Ultra Series in 2012, entries have multiplied four-fold and, today, has seen the deepest world-class field to date.
Staying on Spanish soil, join some of the world’s top runners for the next race on the Skyrunner® World Series on May 25, with an all-time great, the 42 km Zegama-Aizkorri.
The 2014 SWS kicks off the season with new main sponsor Active Patch 4U and new partners SCOTT Sports and Compressport, joining Salomon, inov-8, Arc’teryx and La Sportiva.
Race website: www.transvulcania.com
Transvulcania Ultramarathon race results: