The Transgrancanaria Race was first held in 2003 and had 63 entrants. However, this year’s competition which will take place between the 20th – 24th of February 2019, will see 4000 runners from 62 different countries racing to the finish line, including Madeira’s professional Ultra Trail runner, Luis Fernandes - who will be competing in the 128km race. The competitions six individual races traverse mountain peaks, stony tracks, canyons, roads and beaches, ensuring that this is not only a tough event for all concerned, but a beautiful one, as runners run alongside drifts of spring flowers and dramatic landscapes. At night hundreds of lights illuminate the Gran Canarian countryside as athletes battle through different and difficult terrains in darkness.
The four-day competition comprises of several races including the ultimate challenge – the 360° 264km race, 128km Transgrancanaria race, 65km Advanced race, the 42km Marathon, a 30km Starter race and the new 17km Family and Youth, non-competitive event. The Transgrancanaria is part of the Spain Ultra Cup and the Ultra-Trail World Tour, while the competition is considered one of the leading national, European and World Ultra-Trail events and adds five qualifying points to the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.
It’s tough going, but the audience support is tremendous with runners, whether front or back being cheered and supported to the all-important finishing line; while many competitors show equally good spirits as they cross the final line hand in hand.
Although entrants need to be competitively fit, the smaller races including the 30km Starter race and the Family and Youth are designed to attract new runners, allow families to enjoy a sport together, as well as train and condition those who are thinking of moving up a level. However, organisers stress that this event is for everyone, not just the elite.
The Transgrancanaria is an unmissable event on any runner’s calendar.