Kate Farley is one of our ‘ultra-distance’ runners and this is her report :
Transvulcania is the first race of the 2016 Sky Running series and takes place on La Palma, Canary Islands. It is 46 miles around seven volcanoes with 4700m of ascent and is best described as hot, steep, sandy and incredibly beautiful (did I mention sandy?!?). I have been obsessing about this race since it began in 2012 so was excited but terrified at lining up with some of the biggest ultrarunning names. Leaving the start line on the beach, there was a crazy scramble as 1600 runners hit a rocky singletrack path in the dark! The initial 10 miles of ascent to 1900m was relentless, steep and hot but worth it for the spectacular views. From here the course meandered on sand and technical trails up and down around volcano craters until it reached the highest point at 2420m and the key cut off point. Despite my worries I seemed to have paced it well and was steadily getting ahead of my planned timings – I had even managed not to fall over for once. From there I knew I could finish as I just had the fantastic 17km descent back to sea level and could finally enjoy passing some of the people I had been following for 35 miles!
Given the conditions, lack of training recently and an underwhelming last run (sorry Dave S!) I didn’t expect to finish at all so was delighted to cross the finish line at 15:18 – a long way off the winning times of 7 (M) and 8:14 (F) hours but made to feel as much of a hero by the entire island who turn out to support. It is an amazing race and I was very happy to be one of just 118 women who finished!”
An amazingly happy Kate at the finish.