The eighth edition of the 360º The Challenge Gran Canaria, which will be held between November 15 and 19, will be the event with the greatest positive slope of all those that have been held, adding 14,000 meters along the 269 kilometers of a demanding route with start and finish in Tejeda. The toughness of this test of self-sufficiency is proven given that in 2022, in the 101 hour time limit of the race, only 39 athletes out of the 70 who started were able to finish it.
The French Claire Bannwarth She wants her fourth consecutive victory in the women’s category after last year she won and finished fourth in the general classification. Meanwhile, the Italian Luca Papi, winner of four of the seven editions held, will seek his fifth victory this year. In the edition held in 2022 he made a spectacular comeback in the last 50 kilometers that allowed him to be the first to cross the finish line.
The Slovak will also be on the starting line Soňa Kopčoková, who repeats in the test after having been classified fourth in the women’s category last year; the romanian Claudiu Beletoiu, who was third in the 2022 and 2021 Challenge; or Italian Marco Gubertwinner of the two editions held in 2021.
This international cast is joined by local athletes with experience in the event such as Sandra Morenowho is competing in his third 360º and will try to improve the third place from last 2022; Javier Blanco, who led the race last year and was third in the 360º in 2017; either Jonathan Santanasix times finisher of a test that in the 2022 edition finished in fifth position. To them we must add the athletes of the Arista Pro Team Yeray Durán and Alex Fraguela. Durán was second in the TDS of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc in 2016 and has won three editions of the Tenerife Bluetrail Ultra. For his part, Fraguela has been runner-up in the Tenerife Bluetrail Ultra and the Ultra Sierra Nevada in 2016, as well as third in the Gran Trail Peñalara – GTP in 2018.
Participants must demonstrate their notable physical fitness and good orientation skills. To do this, they have only known the test route since last November 5 on a route that will be unmarked. During the test, the athletes will have several living bases in the municipalities of Mogan, Santa Lucía de TirajanaVilla of Moya and Terror where they can feed themselves, shower, recharge electronic devices and even sleep in order to face this race for self-sufficiency.
Premiere of the relay modality
For the first time the 360º The Challenge Gran Canaria will have the relay modality in which the runners The 269 kilometers and 14,000 meters of positive slope will be distributed in different sections. In this category the teams face the same route and have the same time limit (101 hours) as those who participate in the individual category.
For this, the strategy will be essential since the couples must decide what intervals of the route each component will do, although always with the obligation that each of them cover at least one of the sections between two control points and pass the baton at the interior of the life bases distributed along the route. One of the members will start with the rest of the registered participants from the Tejeda exit and, in order to finish this adventure, both athletes will have to cross the finish line together.
In this edition, the duel is served. On the one hand there will be the duo made up of Iker Karrera and Zigor Iturrieta, who already know the island after having participated in other editions of the Transgrancanaria. Karrera has triumphs in Tor de Geants, Lavaredo Ultra-Trail or the Transalpine Run, while his partner won in 2011 in events such as The North Face Transgrancanaria, the Trail du Sancy and the G2H. Locals will also participate in this modality Esteban Garcia and Francisco Estevez. García came second in the 360º in 2020 and this year he was proclaimed Spanish ultra trail champion in the master 40 category. Estévez, for his part, this year was proclaimed winner of the Riaño 3xTrail Run.