|Puig Campana viewed from Benidorm, 17th floor of a tower block!|
We started in the small town of Finestrat in groups of 10 and jogged our way up to the real race start at a sociable pace. We were then set off at 30 second intervals up the 3.6km course.These timed starts have their advantages. The paths are usually very narrow and just not suited to a mass start race. Also, I find it easier to set my own pace in these things. Unlike a cross country race where you might chance it early on and run a bit harder to get a good position, vertical kms seem to be best approached with caution. After a few hundred metres of climb, just keeping going is quite an effort.
|The race start|
I was rewarded with a flattish section to finish. I popped out onto the top plateau and followed a rocky trail up the last 120m of climb (the course a little over 1000m of vertical climb.The views were fantastic, even Benidorm looked strangely good from above. I didnt hang around too long as the weather was setting in and I set off on the gentle 8km descent making new friends with my competitors.
|The rocky section and the scree|
As these foreign adventures come to a close for the year, I realise I have a lot of people to thank. Firstly Arc'teryx for making this all possible (and Jenny Johnson). Secondly, the Skyrunning federation for their help sorting the races out. Thirdly, all the race organisers and other competitors who have been so welcoming, generous and friendly. I've really enjoyed my first year in the mountain running community and hope to continue.