Polish victory in the KV El Gigante of Transgrancanaria
Katarzyna Solinska and Bart Przedwojeski win in the rain and cold – Canary Islander Yoel de Paz and Belgian Marie Dessart take second place, just 26 and 46 seconds behind the winners, respectively.
No surprises in the Vertical Kilometre El Gigante that opened this afternoon a new edition of the Transgrancanaria. The Poles Katarzyna Solinska and Bart Przedwojeski won the most explosive race of the races taking place this week. Yoel de Paz demonstrated his good form and the high level of the Canarian runners with a second position only 26 seconds behind the winner.
More than seventy runners braved the rain and cold for the 5.5 kilometres and 1,130 metres of elevation gain that separate the Agaete neighbourhood of San Pedro with the Tamadaba Natural Park. The main favourites imposed a frenetic pace from the very first metres, with the Central European Solinska showing why she was the favourite by stopping the clock in 50 minutes and 32 seconds. The winner, who was competing in a vertical kilometre for the first time, said that despite the short course she enjoyed the “spectacular” scenery. “The race was incredible, I never got bored of appreciating the landscape, with lots of rocks”. The ON Running team runner returns next Friday to the Marathon, a modality she already won in 2019.
Belgian Marie Dessart took second place, just 46 seconds behind the winner, and third place went to Briton Sophie Horrocks, six minutes behind. The North Face Brazilian Fernanda Maciel, who returned to competition two years after suffering a climbing accident, finished sixth, seven minutes behind Solinska.
In the men’s category, the Salomon International runner, Przedwokeski, and the Nike Wild Trail Project athlete, De Paz, had a close battle for the victory. The runner from La Palma said at the end of the race that he had planned to “save time at the beginning and push at the end”, but as soon as he saw the trail of his competitor “psychologically I was killing myself a little bit”. “It was a nice fight with Bart,” he said. The North Face’s Italian Henry Aymonod finished third with a time of 40 minutes and 47 seconds, just one minute and one second behind the winner.
The winner was “very happy” for the victory and for being for the first time in Transgrancanaria to “compete against great runners from Spain and other countries of the world”. The top two of the VK El Gigante will face each other again tomorrow in the Starter, where both start as favourites in the 24 kilometres between Tunte and Tejeda. Bart Przedwojeski commented that his performance will depend on his recovery after a “very tough race”. “I will be very strong from the beginning to the end of the race,” he said.
The mayoress of Agaete, María del Carmen Rosario, was present at the start of the race, where she thanked the organisers for keeping the promise that the Transgrancanaria returns to Agaete every year and runs through the unique landscapes of the municipality. “Agaete is sport and nature, and we hope that this race will continue every year putting in our municipality its starting line of the Vertical Kilometre El Gigante”, he declared.
The Transgrancanaria continues tomorrow, Thursday 23rd February, with the celebration of the Starter, of 24 kilometres, starting in Tunte, and the Promo, of 12 kilometres, which will start in Artenara. Both races will finish in Tejeda, which will be the epicentre of world trail running over the next few days.
Credit foto organizzazione