After stopping the 105km race due to thunderstorm forecasts, Gerard Morales (BUFF® Pro Team) and Judith Franch (INNOV8) were leading the BUFF® EPIC TRAIL Ultra Marathon®.
Eugeni Gil (FEEC) and Oihana Azkorbebeitia (Euskal Selekzioa) were leading the BUFF® EPIC TRAIL Sky Marathon®, included in Migu Run Skyrunning World Series.
Ismail Razga (Salomon Team) and Núria Picas (BUFF® Pro Team) were the winners of the BUFF® EPIC TRAIL Half Marathon®.
The incredible landscapes of the Parc National D’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici as well as the magical settings of La Vall de Boí were the chosen venue for the celebration the first edition of BUFF® MOUNTAIN VALL DE BOI FESTIVAL which took place from the 7th to the 9th of July
The event brought together a diverse audience, from expert sportspeople to amateur mountain lovers and even entire families who attended festival in search of the broad range of leisure and sport carried out during the three days of the event. As a consequence, the occupancy in the entire Vall de Boí area reached an 80%.
Rafting, mountain-oriented workshops and Romanesque tradition discovery activities (“Románico a Escena” theater play) were the most popular recreational activities. On the other hand, kids had the highest participation enjoying activities like the Natural Campus, workshops and a Mini Skyrace with almost a hundred kids between 4 and 14 years old who contributed with the registration (free for them) to a UNICEF campaign against child poverty.
In addition, the BUFF® Mountain Festival was celebrated at the same time as the traditional “Falles” d’Erill la Vall, recognized by the UNESCO as World Heritage.
The fourth edition of the BUFF® EPIC TRAIL and the first edition of the MTB MARATHON® have also been part of the festival which ends on Sunday after three days of mountain activities, sports, live music and fun for the whole family.
BUFF® EPIC TRAIL
ULTRA MARATHON® 105K
122 runners started the BUFF EPIC TRAIL, a 105K Ultra Marathon that undoubtedly claimed its epic status.
In the Saboredo shelter (51.8km), when Yeray Durán and Pau Bartoló were alternating the lead, a heavy thunderstorm endangered the viability of the race. Because of the constant instability of the weather conditions and the forecast of worsening weather conditions for the next hours, the organization decided to stop the race in Espot (67.5km) and to informed the riders as they were reaching Espot and Estany de Gento (81,5km).
It was truly a difficult decision for the organization as they were aware of the big effort and the amount of preparation needed by the athletes taking part in the BUFF® EPIC TRAIL 105K, an Ultra Marathon with 8,000 meters accumulated elevated gain and 56% positive altitude slopes. In any case, the main objective of the organization was always to secure the safety of all participants.
Only those runners who had already passed the Estany de Gento when the race was stopped had the chance to continue as they were out of the designated danger area. Thus, Gerard Morales was the winner (13:27:22) followed by Luis Duarte (13:33:39), Miguel Ángel Sánchez (13:48:31) and Ernest Ausiró (14:04:08).
The female ranking was established based on the order of arrival at the Espot control point (67.5km), as that was the spot where the race as finally cut. Judith Franch won (09:37:44) followed by Leire Martinez (09:50:32) and the BUFF® Pro Team runner Manuela Vilaseca (10:27:31).
SKY MARATHON 42K®
384 trail runners took part last Saturday in the 42K Sky Marathon® Skyrunner World Series, starting from Espot at 09:30 in the morning.
In male’s category, there was a constant fight for the first place between Aritz Egea and Eugeni Gil, who took the lead around Curva de Sant Martí (km 32) becoming the winner of the 42k championship with a 04:08:24 time. Aritz Egea was second with 04:11:52 followed by Adrien Michaud who ended with a 04:16:47 time.
Podium of the female category was also fought until the end between Oihana Azkorbebeitia, Laura Sola and Celia Chiron, who ended in 05:10:23.
HALF MARATHON® 21K
The half-marathon 21K, starting and ending in Barruera, was the last race BUFF® EPIC TRAIL 2017 and gathered around 400 runners.
The determination and strength of Ismail Razga -who quit the 42k marathon the day before- made him the winner after a 02:18:53 race. It was not easy as he fell and list the lead for some kilometers before finally reaching against the first position.
13 seconds behind entered Jo Forseth (02:19:06), the leader of the race until the surprising recovery by Ismail. Juan Javier Jiménez was third, finishing the half marathon in 02:19:29.
Núria Picas (BUFF® Pro Team) won the female competition with a 02:55:51 time. Despite being her first race after retiring in Makalu and despite her physical condition (she was recovering from a pneumonia), Núria overtook Clementine Geoffray who had been leading the race and finally ended in second place (03:00:10). Finally, Imma Boada was third with a 03:13:19 time.
Simultaneously to the Half Marathon, a mountain bike competition was also celebrated in Barruera. The race proclaimed the Catalonian champion in marathon distance marathon. After an extremely demanding high mountain track reaching the Boí Taüll ski resort, 58km, 2,100m positive elevation gain and 2,272m highest altitude, Ever Alejandro Gómez , Tomás Bellès (Cannondale) and Ramona Gabriel (BUFF ® Scott Team) ended up as the new MTB Catalonian champions.