After successfully (though somehow unexpectedly) finishing the 55 kilometres of Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc OCC in August, still riding that runner's high a week later (and trying not to forget it completely), I registered for another ultra trail, the Transvulcania Maratón.
Which means that a longer October weekend on volcanic La Palma (aka La Isla Bonita), the westernmost island of the Canary Islands, is coming my way!
The route begins at El Pino de La Virgen (El Paso) at 853 metres above sea level and from there, climbs steeply until it joins up with the GR 131 long distance trail, passing through El Puerto de Tazacorte to end at the finish line in Los Llanos de Aridane.
With a total distance of 45 km, a cumulative elevation gain of 2,816 meters, a cumulative elevation loss of 3,372 meters and a total elevation change of 6,226 meters, this race category requires a special physical condition, since we must take into account the last part of the route, which descends a vertiginous path from the highest point of the island, the Roque de Los Muchachos (2,426 m /7,959 ft above sea level) to sea level (Playa del Puerto de Tazacorte), with a final ascent to Los Llanos de Aridane.
All to be done within 10 hours.
Staying in Santa Cruz, south coast of the island.
Trip to Los Llanos de Aridane, on the other side of the island, to collect the bib.
Ready to go.
Queueing for the start.
And off we go.
From the official photos.
The summit is somewhere there.
Almost there now.
Here comes the worst part of the descent.
The finish line is somewhere down there.
No more pictures from the last part of the descent, as it was super hot, reaching 35C, I have run out of water, and twisted my left ankle. Twice!
Wasn't that bad though, as I was still able to continue, albeit slowly, pretty much walking the rest of the distance.
The last 5k was a real struggle, the flat part less so, before the final climb kicked in.
Very slowly, but managed to make it to the finish line, just in the nick of time.
Obligatory finisher pic.
And then to the medics, to have the ankle taken care of.
And then to the resto.
And finally to the award ceremony.