There are not many things that makes me happier than running nice trails with good friends. And the last three days, I have felt a lot of that happiness running from Agaete (Puerto de la Nieves) to Maspalomas with Elov Olsson, Didrik Hermansen and Johan Lantz. We started from Puerto de la Nieves on Thursday morning, and touched the lighthouse in Maspalomas on Saturday evening. The four of us ran 95 percent of the Transgrancanaria course.
This is the second time in three weeks that I do this trip. On the trip three weeks ago, I guided a group of nine runners from Denmark, Sweden and Norway. That group, being a bit bigger, had a slower pace. That was fortunate for me, since I ran the Hong Kong 100km race the weekend before.
My running mates on this last trip was my good friend Didrik from Norway, and two young swedes, Johan and Elov. I have met Johan before, but it was the first time I had the chance to run with Elov. They are both super fast and super nice guys!
The first day we ran from the starting point of Transgrancanaria to Cruz de Tejeda. We followed the course a bit passed Artenara before we took a right turn and followed the ridge all the way to our hotel in Cruz de Tejeda. It is about six kilometers from Artenara to Cruz de Tejeda on very scenic single track trails.
On both of the two trips, we have stayed at the Parador Cruz de Tejeda hotel. This hotel is convenient because it is warm inside and that they serve both breakfast and dinner. When we do not have to spend time outside of the hotel (except for the running), we can travel very light. I used a small 17 liter backpack to carry all my stuff.
On day two (Friday), we ran back to Artenara and then followed the Transgrancanaria-course to Fontanales/Valleseco/Teror and then up to Cruz de Tejeda again. With so many fast guys, we had agreed to save our efforts for the last steep uphill from Teror to Cruz de Tejeda. This section is tough, with 1.000 meters of elevation gain in a little less than ten kilometers. I kept a good speed and felt that I worked hard. Still, I reached the hotel in Cruz de Tejeda ten (!) minutes after Johan Lantz. The guy is super fast and a real contender for the win at Transgrancanaria!
The third day (Saturday) is the longest, and we decided to do a little shortcut from Garanon up «Camino Santiago» before the downhills to Cruz Grande. We missed the steep uphill hike to Pico de la Nieves, but after all, 53 kilometers was a long enough day. We ate lunch in Tunte and then continued down towards Maspalomas at a pretty good speed. And to finish it all off, we ran a «fast finish race» from the last aid station to the lighthouse. Didrik, Elov and Johan impressed my again, running the last seven kilometers in less than 24 minutes. I can’t even run sub 3.30/kilometer in a half marathon, but these guys did it after 135km in three days!
Hard facts about the trip
Day 1: Puerto de la Nieves to Cruz de Tejeda. 42,2km. 6h 16min. 3.119meters of elevation gain.
Day 2: Cruz de Tejeda to Cruz de Tejeda. 39,8km. 4h 26min. 2.150meters of elevation gain.
Day 3: Cruz de Tejeda to Maspalomas. 53,5km. 5h 30min. 1.350 meters of elevation gain.