The Transvulcania Naviera Armas Ultramarathon, first race in the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series in the Sky Ultra category, is set to light up the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canaries on May 13.
This iconic event has become a legend since joining the Skyrunner® World Series in 2012, attracting the world’s top skyrunners and media.
A mere speck in the Atlantic Ocean, it’s the most westerly of the Canary Islands with black sand beaches and a series of extinct and active volcanoes where some of the world’s largest telescopes are located.
It’s from one of these beaches on the south of the island, among the salt flats, that the Transvulcania Ultramarathon begins. In the dark, just before dawn the course climbs a daunting 4,350m vertical climb over a 74 km course to the Roques de las Muchachas at 2,462m altitude before descending again to sea level and finishing with a punishing 5 km ascent to the town of Los Llanos and the roar of thousands of enthusiastic spectators.
Together with a VK, marathon and half marathon course, the events attract some 3,600 runners from no less than 60 countries and specifically, 2,000 participants from 45 countries in the Ultramarathon.
The best-known names in the sport have excelled here: Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Sage Canaday, Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost and Ida Nilsson have all stood on the top rung of the podium, some, more than once.
This year, the men’s field lies wide open, with three-time winner Luis Alberto Hernando taking on the shorter distances. Among the top runners rising to the challenge and Hernando’s 2015 record of 6h52’39” are: Frenchmen Nicolas Martin, second here last year, UTMB champions Ludovic Pommeret and Xavier Thevenard; Spaniards Pau Capell, Roger Viñas and Pere Aurell; Briton Tom Owens; from the USA Jason Schlarb and Hayden Hawks; Remigio Huaman from Perú; Dmitry Mityaev from Russia; Dimitris Theodorakakos from Greece; Jan Bartas from Czech Republic; Nuno Silva from Portugal and Fulvio Dapit from Italy.
In the women’s field, 2016 surprise race winner, Swede Ida Nilsson, aims to defend her title. She closed just 4 minutes short of Anna Frost’s 2014 standing record of 8h10’41”. Back for more are also the 2016 second and fifth place finishers, Anne-Lise Rousset from France and American Hillary Allen, joined by Kristina Pattison, Cassie Scallon and Corrine Malcolm; Ragna Debats from Holland; Ekaterina Mityaeva from Russia; Zuzana Urbancova from the Czech Republic and Andrea Huser from Switzerland.
The 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series ranking is based on the thee best results in the Sky Ultra category. The end of season bonus pool amounts to €60,000.