Sunday morning in the beautiful village of Sant Joan de Labritja and just over 200 runners gathered for the inaugural 5km and 20km trail races, known as the Ruta Norte CxM (Carrera de Montaña - mountain race). A few nerves for me but in all honesty I was looking forward to having a crack at parts of the route which I’d not run before.
Fortunately for us the promised thunderstorms held off and at 9am the 115 of us taking on the 20km race enjoyed a slightly frenetic start as we found ourselves immediately ducking under tree branches and picking our way down some technical single track with rocks slick from last night’s rain.
Around the 3k mark we made our way through a short tunnel ankle deep in mud and rainwater which threatened to tug my shoes off - thought I was back in muddy old England!
Running along the pretty bays of Portinatx I found myself laughing out loud as we passed right next to a couple of old gents who’d sat at a table in front of their boat shed for their morning cafe con leche, prompting the runner in front of me to start some good humoured banter with them “Oyé! Que pasa aquí??!!”!
Just before reaching the hidden bay of Cala d’en Serra a group of us missed one route marker and ended up attempting some impromptu rock climbing before realising our error - there’s always time for an adventure!
Finished with a fast last mile, all downhill into Sant Joan with the bells of the little church ringing to welcome us back.
Overall it was a stunning technical trail route and a well organised race, but a tough day at the office for me. I really struggled with the steepness of some of the ascents, which I was surprised at given that I’ve been ramping up my hill work in training.
Disappointed with my time but also motivated to continue working hard (great strength session yesterday!) and feeling inspired to do the route again - who knows, maybe I’ll join the old fellas for a cafe con leche next time!
The 20km trail race was won by Anass Bourass - remarkably in his debut trail race - in 1:43:28, just 8 seconds ahead of José Luis Roselló, with William Aveiro third (winner of the Sant Jordi Trail in August). Leading lady was Atteneri Tur who finished in a very impressive 1:56:59, 14th overall (also winner of last month’s Sant Jordi Trail). In the 5km trail race, Otman Bourass (brother of Annass) was first over the line in 23:32, with Irati Matas Tur leading the ladies home in 31:27.