Transvulcania – a new star is born. Hernando triumphs again

Luis Alberto Hernando wins Transvulcania for the third time. © / SWS
Luis Alberto Hernando wins Transvulcania for the third time. © / SWS

Stars from the past and stars of the future shone at the Transvulcania Naviera Armas Ultramarathon on the island of La Palma today.

Luis Alberto Hernando powered to glory for the third time in a row after a long and strong race led by Sage Canaday who closed third, replicating 2014. An outstanding race was run by Frenchman Nicolas Martin, relatively unknown on the international scene, he was in the lead pack throughout and, with Hernando, overtook Canaday on the gruelling downhill from the 2,423 island summit, to finish second. The winning time was 7h04’44”, 12 minutes short Hernando’s own course record set last year.

It was the women’s race where surprises were in store and the action was hot. Race favourite Anna Frost, two times winner, was tipped for the podium. It wasn’t to be.

Ida Nilssen, women’s Transvulcania winner. © / SWS
Ida Nilssen, women’s Transvulcania winner. © / SWS


Streaking out from the start was new entry Ida Nilsson, from Sweden. New to skyrunning, she hadn’t even planned on racing. It was her friend Emelie Forsberg, last year’s race winner and Ultra Series champion, currently injured, who forecast her win today.

At Los Canarios, seven km from the start, Ida was already leading by two minutes and increased the gap throughout the race. At the highest point of the race at 2,423m she was leading by half an hour but unused to downhill running she closed 18 minutes ahead Anne-Lise Rousset from France, second. Another skyrunning newcomer, Ruth Croft from New Zealand, placed an excellent third less than a minute later. Ida’s finishing time was 8h14’18” leaving Anna Frost’s 8h10’41” record intact.

Men’s Transvulcania podium: Sage Canaday, Luis Alberto Hernando, Nicolas Martin. © / SWS
Men’s Transvulcania podium: Sage Canaday, Luis Alberto Hernando, Nicolas Martin. © / SWS


Ida, who comes from a ski-mountaineering background, commented, “I wanted to go out hard because I know I’m bad on the downhill…and a little disappointed I didn’t get the record.” A new star is born.

The women’s field was as deep as they get with no less than six top ranked athletes competing as well as Anna Frost, who finished 7th. The record-holder and the “Reina of La Palma” commented, “I came knowing I wasn’t in shape as past years but I’m fit, healthy and happy – everything else is just an added bonus. It was nice to have a mind-set of just racing and awesome to be part of such a competitive field. Such strong women, happy and…well, women! It was hard, very very hard.

The Ultramarathon presents a daunting 4,350m climb over a 74 km course which starts on the Atlantic coast and travels along the island’s backbone to the summit of the Taburiente volcano towering high above the clouds and the ocean below. From here it descends again to the sea and finishes in the town of Los Llanos to the welcome of thousands of cheering spectators, loud music and the famous La Palma hospitality.

Sage Canady leading the field, Transvulcania. © / SWS
Sage Canady leading the field, Transvulcania. © / SWS


The race was transmitted live by the Skyrunner® World Series new tracking system.

Transvulcania Naviera Armas Ultramarathon race results
1. Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) – 7h04’44”
2. Nicolas Martin (FRA) – 7h10’40”
3. Sage Canaday (USA) – 7h14’16”
4. Andy Symonds (GBR) – 7h25’04”
5. Chris Vargo (USA) – 7h26’53”

1. Ida Nilsson (SWE) – 8h14’18”
2. Anne-Lise Rousset (FRA) – 8h31’53”
3. Ruth Croft (NZL) – 8h33’32”
4. Alicia Shay (USA) – 8h49’46”
5. Hillary Allen (USA) – 8h54’57”

More info Ultra

Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott, Compressport and Salomon.

Look out for the next Skyrunner® World Series race, the legendary Zegama-Aizkorri, in Spain’s Basque Country on May 22.

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