After one week, it’s time to write about Penyagolosa, where last year were taking place the World Trail Championships. This year seemed difficult to keep improving or keep motivating the people to come here! But don’t talk about impossibles to the organizers of this race…
CSP started at midnight, I didn’t see the start of the race in the middle of the city, because I was already going up to the first little uphill of the race. Up there, the views of the whole city and in few minutes, thousands of lights coming through the trail were approaching fast… in 10 minutes I was deciding where I was going to take the pictures, preparing my flash and getting ready for the first pic of the night! My thoughts? “Gonna be a long funny night! Let’s rock it!”
After 15min hiking up, 10min waiting and 10min shooting… it’s time to go! next spot is waiting us!
The race is following an old trail called Sender de la Lluna Plena (Full Moon Trail), which connects the city of Castellón with the peak of Sant Joan de Penyagolosa, at 1814 meters of elevation. Like always, the runners are going more or less straight to the finish line but by car, you must drive carefully on a sometimes tiny and crazy road.
Driving to Les Useres, we stop in Borriol to pick up Quim Farrero (one of my idols in terms of outdoor photography). He was taking pictures here while I was in the top of the first uphill.
While we are waiting him in the aid station, I take some pictures to the runners there… they are going slow, but for sure most of them will make it to the finish. Quim is here! we must go to Les Useres, another nice point to shoot the runners with the village in the background!
During the night it’s difficult to explain how beautiful it’s a race. The main attraction of Penyagolosa are the small villages they run through.
Keeping the idea of a trailRunning race, I try to shot the athletes running in the nature but with the village in the background, that’s for me Penyagolosa.
Ok, recapitulate. Penyagolosa has 2 races, CSP (110km’s starting at midnight) and MiM (60km’s starting at 6am). So after driving and following CSP, now it’s time to drive to the city again, see the start of MiM and keep taking pics! (at least, soon will arrive the sunrise)
It’s in Xodos, where we can see them again before the finish line!
Here both races are meeting for some km’s… but runners are moving fast! We can’t spend much more time taking pictures if we want to see the first runner arriving into Sant Joan de Penyagolosa!
And, finally, the first runner (of MiM) reaches the finish line! But the surprise will come with the finish of CSP…
In “Banyareda” at 5kms to the finish line, Cristofer Clemente is leading the race and everyone thinks that he is going to win… but this is trail running.
In the finish line, we are all waiting for Cristofer and BOOOM! Ernest Ausiró appears!
It seems that the body of Cristofer said STOP, and few kilometers before the finish… Ernest took the lead. CRAZY moment! What a finish!
On the women race, Azara won the MiM and Gemma the CSP. I think all of us knew at the start that they were going to win the races… super strong women!
Finally, after 32h without sleep (because I woke up 8am on friday and now was 4pm of saturday)… we decided to go to another spot to create some more content!
At the end, this was another stunning edition of Penyagolosa Trails, we had good weather and we spend a lot of funny hours following the race with Quim, Cristóbal and Santi.
Can’t wait to be there again in 2020!
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