Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sold-out Transgrancanaria 2012 features amazing ultratrail talent

TransGranCanaria 2012 is only about three weeks away and completely sold out with 1,800 runners registered for the four events (123/96/42/24 km). When the event began in 2003, there were only 65 participants - times have changed also on this remote island next to Africa.

Some of the most talented international ultratrail runners will participate in the full distance event:
  • Zigor Iturrieta (Spain), 
  • Sebastien Chaigneau (France), 
  • Mike Wolfe (USA), 
  • Jez Bragg (UK) and 
  • Tsuyoshi Kaburaki (Japan).
These amazing runners will be there to guide us TGC-newbies through the hilly 123 km course from the southern beaches of Playa del Ingles to the finish line in Las Palmas. No worries folks, just follow these guys, they know the right pace!

Running route 793571 - powered by Runmap 

Seriously, my race strategy is to take it easy, eat, drink, relax, enjoy, smile and laugh as much as possible. However, I'm not sure to what extent that will be possible, as the aid stations are very few and far between:
  • Ayagaures, 31 km: water station (yes only water here, nothing else).
  • Tunte, 42 km: full aid station with various drinks and foods.
  • Presa de Las Ninas, 62 km: full aid station (some sources say drink only).
  • Aserrador, 73 km: something to drink and eat.
  • Garanon, 81 km: full aid station.
  • Teror, 98 km: full aid station.
  • Tenoya, 113 km: full aid station.
  • Las Palmas, 123 km: lunch area.
The organizers gave us a fair warning in recent newsletter: "The North Face The Transgrancanaria, unlike other ultratrails, is a race that is performed in semi-autonomous, you can find food provisioning on the road, but very distant from each other, so you have to carry enough food and drink to get from one to another without problems."

The "Required Material" includes:
  • "Front light, flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries and bulb" (a bulb for LED light?) 
  • "Back light, red" (Petzl e+Lite is my back red LED, it also serves well as a spare front LED)
  • "Mobile phone" 
  • "Water tank at least 2 liters" (I'll have a water bladder and two bottles in my backpack)
  • "Enough food to face the race" (Enough? That would require a camel to carry it all!)
  • "Thermal Blanket. Minimum measures 100 cm x 200 cm"
  • "Plastic Cup."
  • "Raincoat." (I'll take my OMM Kamleika Race Jacket.)
Also as the start will be at midnight on Friday March 2, everyone will have to run through at least one night - with a great chance to get a bonus night thrown in before the finish line closes at 7AM on Sunday. I've paid for 31 hours of running, and it looks like I'm going to get my money's worth!

The total climb (D+) of the 123 km course is about 4,190 m (13, 746 ft). As the start and finish are at sea level, the total descent (D-) should be the same. Some sources have measured the D+ as 4.250 m. Please note that when the race website claims "11.000 accumulated desnivel meters", that means both ascent and descent together - and is probably an exaggerated figure even then. Anyway, the highest point is "only" 1,931 m, so it's lower in average altitude than Alpine races.

Those who are interested should be able to follow the race live here on race day.


Richard said...

I'm curious, what pack will you use?

Trail Plodder said...

That's a good question Richard. I've decided to err on the side of taking a too big pack and be well prepared. So I'll give my Raidlight Ultra-Light Olmo 20L a try - it's never been used by me in a race before. But it's only 360 g (12 oz) - only 70 g more than the tiny Olmo 5. It has 2 plastic bottles on the front, and I'll add a Source water bladder inside. I'll also throw my aluminium sticks in there just in case. And plenty of Clif Shot Bloks & SiS Go gels. Maybe some extra clothing if the weather turns out to be bad.

Richard said...

Thanks for the info! I'm currently shopping for a new pack and did not know raidlight. The Olmo 5 sound goog for my need. I'm racin a 55k in Iceland this summer and need to have 1 bottle easily accessible, a reservoir for water, pockets for gels/bar/camera and 5 to 13 liters in the back for jacket, gloves, etc...
I am considering the new ultraspire omega but it does not have a bottle holder in front.

Thanks for the info!

Trail Plodder said...

Not everyone likes the shoulder strap mounted bottle holders, but it works well for me. Raidlight Olmo 5 is a really well designed pack with separate pockets for gels, phone, gear, bladder, etc. However it can be too small to carry enough clothing for some special conditions.

BTW I haven't used the Olmo bottles - I've chosen to use more compact standard bike bottles. Maybe I should use the Olmo bottles, as their tubes at the top theoretically allow drinking without removing the bottle from the holder, but for some reason I seem to like normal simple bottles better.