Monday, July 5, 2010

Gran Trail of Peñalara

Last weekend Spain's Sierra de Guadarrama hosted the first edition of the Gran Trail of Peñalara. The event was born with the aim to commemorate the 100 years of the Royal Spanish Society of Mountaineering Peñalara, with particular emphasis on the wishes of the founders of the Society for the knowledge and transmission of the values of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
It was a race of semi self-sufficiency where participants had to carry a minimum material and ensure its security along the 110 km route at an altitude ranging between 1033 m and 2429 m (Peñalara), 5,000 metres of positive altitude change, with a maximum of 30 hours to complete the course.
Kiko Galera took victory after 13 hours and 27 minutes of effort. In the women's category María Luisa García Rafael was the winner with a total time of 20 hours. 260 of the 481 participants reached the finish line.
In line with the new sports trends in the mountain, and following the benchmark example of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, the Gran Trail is a sport event linking different villages of Guadarrama, passing through the most emblematic sites of these mountains of Madrid and Castilla-León, escaping from the tarmac roads and motorways by those paths and tracks used historically by the mountain people and in more modern times by hikers and mountaineers, and having as its main axis the GR10 footpath. In the route of the Gran Trail, the runners are able to test their athletic skills and techniques in a high-mountain environment, with altitudes above two thousand meters, and terrains that alternate between bare soils, meadows and rocks. A perfect place to live the spirit of the mountain, and to measure your endurance in clean competition.
The race shows the values of Guadarrama to visitors coming from all over Spain and from abroad, putting the participants in contact with the pure heart of the mountains, and at the same time maintaining a careful respect for this environment protected to preserve its natural and cultural values.

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