TRANSVULCANIA ULTRAMARATHON 2013 - LA PALMA (SPA)
Sottotitolo: Kilian Jornet non finisce mai di stupire...
A soli sette giorni dal Mezzalama il fenomeno catalano stacca uno strepitoso successo nella gara delle gare... Un UFO!!!!
Una bella rivincita, verso chi lo sperava in crisi e verso chi lo considerava inferiore ai trailer d'oltreoceano. Il galacticos delle corse aoutdoor ha risposto a suo modo, presentanddosi in saolitaria al traguardo di La Palma e vincendo quella che per livello e difficoltà è considerata "la gara" di inizio stagione. Nessuna pretattica, nessuna preparazione specifica. Giusto il tempo di togliere sci e scarponi e, a soli sette giorni dal Mezzalma, KIlian Jornet è tornato ad imporre la legge del più forte. Per lui successo e record in 6h54'09". Argento sotto il precedente migliore riscontro cronometrico anche per il neo acquisto del team Adidas Luis Alberto Hernando che ha passato il traguardo in 6h58'31". Gradino più basso del podio per l'americato del team SCOTT Sage Canaday che chiude in 7h09'57''.
Al femminile, Emelie Forsberg del team Salomon ha forse sovvertito i pronostici della vigilia andando a vincere in 8h13’22”. La sua fortissima compagna di club Nuria Picas ha comunque dimostrato di essere in un buon momento conquistando l'argento con crono di 8h19’30”. Bronzo di giornata sulle spalle di Uxue Fraile (Adidas) che ha terminato la sua Transvulcania in 8h44’48”.
Expectations ran high and so did Transvulcania fever – before, during and after the race. After last year’s launch as the first-ever skyrunning Ultra, the race again kicked off the 2013 season – and more than lived up to expectations.
Salomon superstars and 2012 Skyrunner® World Series champions, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg were supreme victors in Saturday’s Transvulcania Ultramarathon, on the Spanish island of La Palma in the Canary Islands.
It was a new course record for Spaniards Jornet, in 6h54’09”, and Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) in 6h58’31”. Both finished below last year’s record (6h58’44”) set by American Dakota Jones. Initially some doubt surrounded Jornet’s condition on finishing just a week before a successful ski-mountaineering season, like last year where he collapsed, third, at the finish line. This year he demonstrated yet again what a great star he is.
After the pre-dawn start on the Ocean front, the stacked men’s field was led initially by American Sage Canaday (Scott Sports) but by the summit, at km 57.8, he had settled into third position behind Hernando, followed by Jornet, at a few minutes distance. On the sharp, steep 18 km descent, which tumbles 2,520m back down to the ocean, Jornet moved in to overtake Hernando and raced to victory. The final 6 km uphill stretch takes the runners to the finish line in the town of Los Llanos to the ecstatic applause of thousands of supporters.
Top American runners got their first taste of skyrunning and all performed well, included excellent positions for Canaday, Timothy Olson and Cameron Clayton. A disappointed Anton Krupicka had to forego the race due to fever. Other casualties included Canadian Adam Campbell who had to withdraw with stomach problems, while Philipp Reiter and Joe Grant, also succumbed, but managed to finish the race.
The women’s race was another affair with 2012 world champions Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) and Nuria Picas (FEEC), neck and neck for the entire length of the race. It was only on the last 6 km stretch that Forsberg changed gear and sprinted to victory in 8h13’21”.
Picas was clearly pushed to her limits and closed in 8h19’30”. Forsberg commented that she had been unsure of her potential in her first race of the Series, back-to-back on the ski-mountaineering season like Kilian Jornet. She need not have worried.
Uxue Fraile (adidas), ran at a steady pace from the start and held her third position to the finish to close in 8h44’48”. Anna Frost, who also had to renounce a come-back for health reasons, maintains the 8h11’31”record set last year.
The runners faced a daunting 8,525m ascent and descent over the 83 km course, which starts at sea level on the Atlantic coast and travels along the island’s backbone to the summit of the volcano at 2,423m before descending again to the sea and finishing in the town of Los Llanos.
It was exactly a year ago today that the ISF announced Transvulcania as their first Ultra race that came to represent everything that is skyrunning. Much has been published, filmed and photographed, liked and shared. Exactly one year on, the entries have multiplied three-fold from 555 participants, to 1,684 from 29 countries* (TBC). No doubt the race will go from strength to strength for many years to come and enjoy extraordinary all-star line-ups on this spectacular “sea to sky” course.
The SWS season kicks off with the new SWS Team Partners supporting the Series: Salomon, Arc’teryx. inov-8 and La Sportiva, and were joined at Transvucania by: adidas, Asics, Buff, Hoka, New Balance, Patagonia, Platinum Sigvaris, Salomon Agisko, Scott Sports, The North Face, Vibram and Quechua.
Photo Courtesy © Jordi Saragossa