TRAIL RUNNING PYRENEES: OSCAR PEREZ & NEREA MARTÍNEZ WIN ULTRA TRAIL VALLS D´ANEU (93K/D+7350m)
Ultra Trail Valls d’Aneu has greatly consolidated on a national level after its second edition with nearly 700 participants. The main event was the extremely tough 93k/D+7.350m mountain challenge attempted by 158 seasoned runners and won by world renowned veterans Oscar Perez and Nerea Martinez.
In addition, the 44k/D+3.330m Endurance Race, plus the Popular Run & Wak of 21k/D+800m added over 500 additional Runners to the celebrations.
The Ultra Trail Valls d’Àneu has successfully closed its second edition after an intense weekend in which were held in Espot four tests with a total of 700 participants.
ULTRA TRAIL VALLS d’aneu (93km): The main event of the weekend was a very technical and demanding 93 kilometers race, whose succesful debut las year saw its enrollment grow from 60 in 2014 to nearly 180 now. But its indomitable carácter remains alive as ever, and only 63 runners managed to toe the finish line, ahead of the máximum of 30 hours allowed.
To the toughness and technical difficulty of the route there came also and added challenge in the form of very strong heat which then turned into a windy and stormy night that the middle of the pack runers had to brave to keep on going, but still there were no serious incidents.
The storm lasted over three hours at night, yet the organizers and technical staff of the FEEC (Catalonian Mountaineering Federation) concluded after their risk assesment that there was no need to neutralize the race.
Oscar Perez is a most respected ultra runner all over Europe, having won a big number of the most gruelling mountain races, from the 330km italian Tor des Geants to the 153km Echapeé Belle in France and so on. To those merits he yesterday added a brilliant win at Ultra Trail Valls d’Àneu, where he was challenged up to the very end of the race.
The 158 members pelotón took off at 5AM headed for a 93 kilometers with a positive Climb, faceing a tough fight in the strenous heat of the midday (+30ºC) and later braving the afternoon storms at over 2.500 meters altitude through the night. The head of the race was greatly disputed, until the final stretch with Jaume Folguera and Egoitz Aragon striving with Oscar for victory. Finally, Oscar arrived back at Esterri as champion after 15h42, with Jaume second in 15h50 and Egoitz third with 15h52m.
In the women’s race, Nerea Martinez arrived in great shape after her recent victory at the 170km Andorra Ultra Trail, and proved herself to be fuly recovered from it.
She opted to lead the race from the start, and it was only Judit Lamas who was able to challenge her over the first third of the race.As the grinding over the rugged mountains trails took its toll, Nerea first opened a gap and then grew it progessively to over an hour by half race. However, she never relinquished her pace and flew in and out of the checkpoints all through the coruse till finally arriving at the finish line as clear winner. On the race, she said: “I really liked this course, with very technical sections, and wonderful high mountain scenary including lakes, peaks, glaciers and ridges. It was certainly a tough race for me, a truly high mountain course.
After the champion, Judit Lamas arrived second in and third came Sara Codina, Laia pupil Díez who closed the podium
A meager total of 63 finishers finally managed to crown themselves so at Esterri between nine in the evening and until nine o’clock in the morning, sharing a widespread view that it is a “surprisingly hard and demanding, but very beautiful and different from the usual” trail running event.
- Podium Men Ultra Trail Valls d’Àneu: 1 Oscar Pérez (15h42m); 2nd Jaume Folguera (15h50m); 3rd Egoitz Aragon (15h52m)
- Podium Ultra Trail Valls female d’Aneu: 1st Nerea Martinez (18h51m); 2nd Judit Lamas (21h09m) 3rd Sara Codina (23m14m)
VALLS d’aneu CURSA RESISTANCE (44k / D+3,300m) The sixth edition of this race has seen Casadella Jordi (5h53m) and Montse Bacardit (6h45m) are ProCLA-mado winners. About 300 riders faced this race of 46 kilometers and 3300 meters of positive slope which this year was part of the Catalan League Endurance Races by FEEC.
- Podium CRVA male 44km: 1. Jordi Casadella (5h53m); 2nd Marc Juvany (6h02m); 3rd Oriol Rego (6h07m)
- Podium CRVA female 44K: 1st Montse Bacardit (6h45m); 2nd Irene Segura (6h52m); 3rd Dolors Morcillo (7h22m)
POPULAR RUN & WALK VALLS d’aneu (21km / D+ 800m) In addition to the competitive side of the Ultra and Endurance Races, which took place on Saturday with about 315 participants, the weekend mountain festival also had a more inclusive side to it with the popular Run & Walk held on Sunday, which gathered more than 200 people.
The courses offered ranged from 2km to 21km respectively, and therefore allowed the presence of a wide audiencie and even children who wanted to be a part of the event. The fastest runners were Paco Dominguez (1h28 ‘) and Nuria Tendero (1h52’), but the overall atmosphere was rather to enjoy the ride and the environment.
- Podium Popular Run & Walk Valls d’Aneu male: 1-Paco Domínguez (1h28m); 2 –Arnau Cases (1h29m); 3 – Pau Puig (1h35m)
- Podium Popular Run & Walk Valls d´Aneu female: 1-Nuria Tendero (1h52m); 2- Xènia Pallares (1h54m); 3- Yenni Estevez (2h04m)
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- More about trail running in Spain 2015 here.