PICOS DE EUROPA TRAVERSE OR IN SPANISH LA TRAVESERA: when running in the night might be forbidden. Today’s story is one of those which we would like not to shar, however circumstances are relevant, and if you were thinking about running one of the most iconic races in Spain, Travesera Picos de Europa, we will need to overcome this situation.

Today’s story is not about happiness and finish lines, but about not being allowed to run during the night in one of the most emblematic snenaries in Spain: Picos de Europa.


On 17NOV, the Governing Plan for the Use and Management of Picos de Europa National Park (PRUG) was approved. The document must now follow its final administrative process until it is published in the Spanish State Official Newsletter, where all the approbed laws are published. The director of Rural Environment and Territorial Cohesion, Alejandro Calvo, and the Director General of Natural Environment and Rural Planning, David Villar, participated from Asturias in the meeting of the Picos de Europa National Park Board, which has favorably informed the new Governing Plan of Use and Management (PRUG), which will be in force until 2030.

The approved document expressly prohibits sports races during night hours. This prohibition puts the Travesera in a difficult continuity solution. The problem stems from the impossibility of taking the full tour only during daylight hours for most runners. Take the case of Nicholas of the Heras as an example: Veteran Asturian mountain runner, with multiple participations in Travesera. From the mountain he went down to run in the asphalt, he even becomes a member of the Spanish ultra team, with one the best world times at Masters category. Well, not even for Nico’s best time in La Travesera would be possible to run during daylight, as he has 15 hours as PB in this race.

On the positive side, it is allowed to continue to carry out those other races that have been carried out in recent years. This ensures the future of the competitions already underway, many of them strongly rooted in both the Cantabrian and the Lioness and Asturian side. However, the night ban introduced in the last tranche of PRUG revisions creates a special problem for Travesera.

Travesera Picos de Europa 2021 has already been confirmed from the Park’s directors. The event will reach its 17th edition, being one of the first mountain races at the regional and national level. It is also an organizational and safety reference in Alpinultras races, technical crossings in high mountains. The social impact that has been generated with the different editions, places Cabrales and Asturias at the epicenter of all the specialized media both in the mountains and in sports.


The new situation created with the approval of the Plan has created a great unease in the Cabrales council. the realization of the Travesera, together with her younger sister Traveserina is a strong economic injection throughout the council. There are more than 1500 people, arriving from all over Spain… and beyond: In the last edition there were more than 12 different nationalities represented.

The municipalities of Onís and Cangas have also shown their dissatisfification with changing regulations as they have always been in favour of sporting activities since they have become dynamizing elements of local economies.

La Travesera is considered by many of its fans to be a unique mountain race: Both for its beauty and its great difficulty, with a 74k/±13,000 crossing the three large massifs of Picos de Europa. Also to be taken into cosideration, the more than 200 volunteers who ensure the safety of up to 450 runners. Also for the cleanliness and care of the environment.

From the Ensidesa Mountain Group as from the FEMPA they are trying to reverse the situation generated through the dialogue with the regional and local administrations to try to find a solution for races so rooted in the national and Asturian calendar and that would be forced to disappear with the final approval of the PRUG.


However, if the Governing Plan for Use and Management (PRUG) concludes its administrative process in this way, the Integral Travesera de los Picos de Europa cannot be concluded. Article 55 in paragraph 9 prohibits it: “Under no circumstances is it allowed to hold extraordinary races or sports activities within the Picos de Europa National Park that run in whole or in part during night hours, this being understood as the space of time between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise, according to the official tables of ortho and sunset.”

The event, which begins at twelve o’clock at night, is therefore outside the calendar and the plans of the patrons that will govern the future of the national park.

TRAVESERA PICOS EUROPA: EL TRAZADO Travesera (74k/DT13.145m) y Traveserina (44k/DT7.000m

TRAVESERA (74k/±13.000m). The queen race would take place on June 12th with departure in Covadonga and arrival at Arenas de Cabrales after crossing the three large massifs of Picos de Europa in a maximum of 21 hours. According to historically collected data, it is the most difficult mountain race to end by a popular one, because to the length and unevenness it unites the enormous technical difficulty of the terrain and the limited time period.

The Picos de Europa Cafés Oquendo Integral Traverse with its 74km and more than 13,000 meters of accumulated elevation, known as the beast or racing race, continues to remain one of the reference races in the world of the Ultra trail.

TRAVESERINA (45k/±7,000m). Traveserina Oquendo follows its exponentiation growth. As with citations such as the Gran Trail Peñalara or La Ehunmilak, the little sister has outnumbered the queen race.

A symptom of maturity more than welcome, since the ultra platoon demonstrates knowing how to measure forces and choose challenges according to their preparation and objectives. Gone are the times of the “Ultra, whether I can walk or not”

The Traveserina 2021 will take place on June 7th with departure at 8:30 am from Sotres and arrival at Arenas de Cabrales after touring its 45km more than 7000 meters of accumulated elevation in a maximum of 11 hours.


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Read the original article in Spanish HERE.
Post by Héctor Rubio for Trailrunningspain