Jessed Hernández wins the first
and 10th Ultra Pirineu
The day began with a sea of headlamps leaving the plaza Porxada in Bagà at 6am with brilliant sunshine accompanying the 1,000 runners who had taken on the challenge of the Ultra Pirineu, with its 110km and 6,800m of overall ascent in the Parque Natural del Cadí Moixeró.
12 hours, 25 minutes and 36 seconds over the 110km after the start and nine years later, Jessed Hernández completed the circle and has won the Ultra Pirineu again in a time of 12:35:36. In 2009 he was the event’s first winner and now he’s done it again. The Catalan runner ran a great race, almost always among the front runners along with Zaid Ait Malek (12:40:26), who finished second, just as he did in 2015. The Moroccan led for most of the race until he started to fade over the last 14km. Jordi Gamito (13:01:23) came third after running a great race. The man from Platja d’Aro held on strongly in a constant battle with runners such as Cristóbal Adell, who had clearly recovered after running the 170km of the UTMB barely a month ago.
Hernández, who won podium places in 2014 and 2016 and who knows the course to perfection, was very happy with the result. “I feel very emotional, this is my home, I grew up here, it’s really incredible. There are no words for how I feel,” he said, exhausted but happy. The Cerdanya athlete, who loves the Gresolet refuge – which is on the course – was strong and consistent throughout the race and proved too much for Ait Malek whose physical problems deprived him of victory, which was also nearly his in 2015. “It’s been a difficult year for me and to come here and finish second, I don’t know how to thank people for all their support,” said the Moroccan, who combines trail running with his part-time job. The third to arrive in the plaza Catalunya in Bagà was another Catalan, Jordi Gamito: “A podium finish at home is something special. I wasn’t sure whether to come or not but in the end it’s turned out well,” he said, having benefited from some of the favourites having to drop out. In fact, during the first few kilometres, Andreu Simon and Dmitry Mityaev were among the leaders for much of the race until they retired at Bellver de Cerdanya (km 40) and Prat de Aguiló (km 61), a little before the ascent to Pas dels Gosolans. Another favourite, the Canarian Cristofer Clemente, also had to retire with knee problems at the Niu de l’Àliga refugee.
Ekaterina Mityaeva wins the Ultra Pirineu 2018 with solvency
“Here I ran my first Ultra 3 years ago. I can not believe I won. It has been my day!” In 2016 the Russian Ekaterina Mityaeva faced for the first time a 110km race. It was on the same stage where today she has been crowned as the winner of the Ultra Pirineu. Then, this runner born in Anapa (Russia) was fourth: “I loved it, but it started to bother my knee and I could not fight for the podium”. A year later, in 2017, he returned and stepped on the podium with a third place. In this tenth edition has fulfilled the forecasts that placed it as one of the favorites and has marked the pace practically since the start to take the victory in 15:12:24.
After passing second by Niu de l’Àliga (km 14) very close to the Polish Magdalena Laczak (15:56:52), Mityaeva has already placed leader in Serrat de las Esposas and has not abandoned that first position. “I love this race, the support of the fans throughout the tour, the organization … I do not believe I won here. Magdalena is a very strong runner and I did not imagine she could win it. It has been my day, it’s incredible, I can not believe it, “she explained visibly moved on arrival in Bagà. Mityaeva specialized in radio guidance and had also run asphalt events but, her husband’s passion for the mountain, the runner Dmitry Mityaev, also discovered the mountain. After starting with shorter tests, in recent years it is common to see her competing in long distances with success, and the Cadí Moixeró Natural Park has become one of her favorite playgrounds.
For the Polish Magdalena Laczak was the first time in Ultra Pirineu and after surprising with his victory in Transgrancanaria also appeared in the pools to win the victory. After leading the race in the first kilometers, the Salomon team athlete crossed the second in 15:56:52. Third has been the Catalan Roser Español in 16:31:55, which already in 2017 was close to the podium with a fourth position behind, precisely, Mityaeva, the winner of this tenth edition.
Another podium for Pablo Villa, this time in the Marató Pirineu
Unable to beat the record set last year by Kilian Jornet but at the top of the podium nevertheless. He won the Ultra Pirineu in 2017 and this year he’s won the Marató Pirineu. Pablo Villa was proclaimed champion of the 45km and 2,400m of overall ascent, arriving at Bellver in first place in a time of 3h54:36. He was followed by the Basque Aritz Egea (3h54:37) who led for much of the race until the runner from León overtook him. Miguel Caballero (4h01:37) was third.
Ingrid Ruiz from Cambrils, who finished 11th last year and came ninth in the OCC of the UTMB, won the Marató in a time of 5h09:10, four minutes ahead of France’s Laurence Santance, just ahead of Mila Durán from Berguedà, who finished in the top 10 in 2015 and was second recently in the MCC of the UTMB.
Nearly 1,000 runners took part in the Marató, in good weather and in radiant sunshine.
Eli Gordón shines in the Mitja Pirineu
The new race, the Mitja Pirineu, promised to be fast and it was even faster than expected, with the 20km and 630m of overall ascent flying by. Eli Gordón confirmed that she has what it takes. “I came to put myself to the test in a fast race and it was great. I felt very comfortable and found my rhythm up to end,” she said, happy as she crossed the line. The Salomon team runner, who likes a fast course, was only 12 minutes behind the first man,
Antonio Martínez, one of the world’s top cross-country runners who is making a name for himself in trail running. Bel Calero (1h36:46) and Mireia Pons (1h36:58) were second and third in the women’s category while in the men’s it was Eduard Hernández (1h19:54) and Nicolás Molina (1h20:53), who came second yesterday in the Nit Pirineu.
An anniversary for the Salomon Ultra Pirineu
The 10th anniversary of the Salomon Ultra Pirineu was palpable from the start. In Bellver, children were enjoying activities organised beside the starting line and then the party moved to Bagà in the afternoon before the first runners came home with the group Format 3 performing music for the fans waiting in the plaza Catalunya.