- Gran Canaria gathers some of the world’s best trail runners
- Along with UTMB, Transgrancanaria is one of the two Bonus Series in the UTWT 2019
The island of Gran Canaria welcomes the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT), the most prestigious international circuit of trail races that brings together the best races from around the world.
In the framework of previous events of Transgrancanaria HG, this Thursday the presentation of the Ultra Trail World Tour was held with the presence of Héctor Suárez, Director of Public Infrastructure of the Government of the Canary Islands, Marie Sammons, head of the UTWT, Fernando González, director of the Transgrancanaria HG, as well as several of the elite runners who will run in the race: Pau Capell, the two-time champion of the Transgrancanaria 128, and exceptional candidates like Hayden Hawks, Pablo Villa, Kaytlyn Gerbin or the brilliant Chinese star, Miao Yao.
Héctor Suárez stressed that the Canarian government keeps banking on this trail event as a way to “help diversify tourism.” In fact, the influence of the Transgrancanaria HG is mainly reflected in “the athletes’ level and the sponsors of the race”.
Marie Sammons emphasized that the fact that Transgrancanaria HG is one of the two Bonus Series races has been of “great interest for runners” who will meet at the Island this weekend.
Bonus Series debut
The Transgrancanaria HG will be the third race of the UTWT calendar and the first of the only two Bonus Series of the 2019 championship. The Bonus Series are races that give the highest score in the ranking of the World Cup circuit. The Transgrancanaria HG has been granted this recognition for the first time, sharing this exclusive privilege with the legendary UTMB.
Top-notch male competition
Pau Capell, the two-time Transgrancanaria 128 champion, confessed that he feels as if he “were at home” due to how he is embraced by the Canarians every time he visits the island. In terms of the competitive level, he confesses that he feels “in good shape”, although he is aware that the competition will be tougher than ever.
Actually, one of his main rivals, the American Hayden Hawks, explained that he has been training in different sections of the circuit throughout January. “I love Spain and, especially, the Canary Islands,” admitted the American.
Pablo Villa is another of the contenders that they should fear: He is the 2018 Advanced champion and the Spanish champion of the RFEA (the Spanish Federation of Athletics) and, although it will be the longest race of his professional career, his good work in the previous edition and his previous experience with part of the route, leaves him as one of the favorites. “I love running in high-level races like this one.”
Gerbin and Yao, two contenders to the female trophy
Kaytlyn Gerbin and Miao Yao are two of the candidates that could win the Transgrancanaria HG. For the American, this will be her second European race, after competing in Penyagolosa Trails. “I come to this event with high expectations, although I feel it will be a very contested race,” he said.
The young Chinese runner, Miao Yao, keeps pulverizing all records of all the races she is treading, and expressed her desire to finish the race “among the first three runners.”