It has been a month since the celebration of the 20th edition of the Transgrancanaria HG, held from 20th to 24th February, and the organization would like to highlight the safety and emergency plan, as it has been unprecedented.Transgrancanaria is a world benchmark in many of its organizational areas, and from this year it will also be so thanks to an unprecedented deployment of emergencies and coordination of resources similar to any other race of this nature at a global level.
More than 5000 people were involved in the event, 68 nationalities, 410 kilometers of tracks and trails, 101 hours of duration and 80 organization vehicles, figures that show the need of a large caliber emergency device in one of the most important sporting events in the world.
Arista Events, organisers of Transgrancanaria HG, have always tried to seek excellence and offer participants, public and sponsors a unique experience. ‘Security is one of the most important elements for an organization and this latest edition has marked a turning point for us’, says Fernando Gonzalez. The director of Arista Events highlights ‘the availability and predisposition of most of the insular and regional resources, the involvement of the best professionals in the sector and the implementation of the greatest technological advances, all this masterfully coordinated by the organization of Arista Events with excellent results for a race of such magnitude’.
Perpetuo Socorro Hospital, Official Medical Service of Transgrancanaria
A year ago, Transgrancanaria and Perpetuo Socorro Hospital signed a collaboration to give the best medical coverage to the 4,000 participants of this edition. HPS served as the Official Medical Service of Transgrancanaria with a complete health device, with more than 100 health workers including doctors, nurses, auxiliary and technical drivers, four on-site hospitals and 14 vehicles for rapid intervention to attend runners and any other spectator or member of the organization if required. In total, 101 hours of health coverage to cover the 264 kilometers of the greater distance race, the Transgrancanaria 360º, in addition to the rest of the races.
Perpetuo Socorro Hospital has years of experience in this type of events with a full deployment along the route ‘with fully equipped vehicles and medical-sanitary personnel. It has also a complete hospital in the finish line ready to treat different injuries’, explains Javier Frugoni, responsible for Security of the Transgrancanaria in this edition. Furthermore, there are doctors with rapid intervention backpacks distributed in the most inaccessible points and with the greatest technical difficulty and ambulances strategically distributed along the entire route.
Geolocated runners at all times with the ChronoRace
Runners of the 360º – the longest and most adventurous of the Transgrancanaria races, carried out in semi-autonomy nutrition and which covers 265 km in 5 days – were geolocated 24 hours with special devices that also have an emergency button. This assures a fast and effective intervention in case of any incident as well as a localization of the event with a very high reliability.
Live Trail – race evolution and tracking system
As for the rest of runners there was a live tracking system (Live Trail) in place, which can estimate the position of any runner at any time and will give the estimated time of arrival at the next control point. An algorithm takes into account more than 15 step controls in the race to make this calculation. This system ensures the highest quality intervention taking into account the rural nature of the race. This application, Live Trail, surpassed the million page views and more than 70, 000 connected users.
Security measures geolocated at all times
Like the runners of the 360º, the security measures deployed throughout the island were geolocalized and controlled at all times from the emergency control room, which ensured order and a perfect distribution of the measures during the race, as well as knowing immediately which service was closest to the event.
The best professionals in each area distributed throughout the island
The race was supported by the best security professionals in the archipelago. A helicopter of the Spanish Civil Guard with two special troops was deployed from the Fuerteventura base to the south of Gran Canaria with the mission to monitoring and take action during the event, Civil Protection, coming from different municipalities in the island were deployed in the most inaccesible points of the track; the commendable work of the Local Police of the municipalities where the race took place; the National Police and employees of emergency service number 112 and finally the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands.
We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to all the translators who helped us attend the requests of runners coming from 68 nationalities; the evacuation vehicles, ready to evacuate retired runners from the most remote-control points and evacuation buses, located in the most important bases of the Transgrancanaria that transport the retired runners to the finish line.
We would also like to include the organization staff, fully equipped to control road junctions and areas of difficult access, 4×4 drivers, driving with adapted vehicles, medical equipment and staff trained to take action in the most inaccesible places, Univertity´s faculty of Physiotherapy, with more than 40 students treating runners at different points of the route and at their arrival at the finish line.
Mandatory mobile phone and emergency number printed on the race bib
It is compulsory for the runner to carry an operational mobile phone in case of incident to call the emergency number provided by the organization printed on the bib. With this, the security team of the Transgrancanaria ensures that in case of emergency and in the coverage area, the runner will be able to contact the race´s emergency control center directly, which will be able to apply the most effective and rapid method to attend the runner.
Emergency control room
The emergency control room of Transgrancanaria is located in the Palacio de Congresos Expomeloneras in the municipality of San Bartolome de Tirajana, which serves as Transgrancanaria´s HQ during the race.
Inside the room there is a screen with the map of Gran Canaria a with all the different routes on it. ‘All the geolocation devices, for runners as well as for rescue emergency services, appeared on this map differentiated by colors, which allowed a quick action in the cases in which it was required as well as an effective organization and distribution of the measures as the race progressed’, explains Carlos González, the director of the race.
On the table, a giant printed map of the island shows all the routes and there are coloured-code pieces that represents security and emergency devices such as ambulances, 4×4 cars, race closure, etc. distributed according to their geolocation. ‘This kind of ‘model of the race’ made it possible for the technicians in the room to discuss the best distribution of resources before deploying them’.
Since Wednesday (the day in which the Transgrancanaria 360º began), in the room there was the director of the race, the safety coordinator, doctor from HPS, the translator, race tracking technicians of Live Trail, technicians in GPS ChronoRace geolocation race tracking, and technical 112.
Carlos Gonzalez, explains how to operate from the Emergency Control Room. ‘First, the call is received at the control center, the urgency of the incident is evaluated, the runner is located using the different means available on the map to find out which measures are the closest, his/her race file is searched to review his dossier in order to find out if he or she has any previous noteworthy pathology, then, is mobilized to the nearest place in order to attend the incidence and the incidence is closed when the runner is safe in any of the centers of the race’, he concludes.
With this means and coordination the Transgrancanaria ensured a proper attention to all the runners who faced one of the toughest events on the world stage and that is one more year at the forefront of the organization worldwide.
Fernando Gonzalez, leading manager of the race, thanks ‘all the media involved in the race and that took part in this magnificent device our most sincere congratulations for making visible the great potential and preparation of Canary professionals leaving very high national standards’, he concluded.