CANFRANC-CANFRANC 2022: WORLD ELITE RUNNERS FLOCK TO ARAGONESE PYRENEES
The race celebrates its 16th edition this year with its best ever field of contenders: Kenyan Valsir World Cup Leaders vs European Medalists.
Canfranc-Canfranc is a vital event for mountain sports in Aragon, whose reputation continues to grow year after year fueled by the beauty of the ten peaks it summits, the passion of the entire Jacetania region population and the proven quality of its organization, with over 400 local volunteers.
This 2022 includes four key novelties: A spectacular Vertical Race (4k/D+927) to the top of Candanchu Ski station; a live streaming over three days with +17 hours of live broadcast on national televisión (Teledeporte) regional (Aragon TV) and Youtube.com/moxigeno. Prizes have also gone up to 15.000€ cash in total.
The 2022 program covers a four days mountain festival in Canfranc, from 8 to 11 SEP: The event kicked off with the official presentation this morning Thursday 9 SEP at 11AM. In the afternoon, a conference on sports nutrition and five race briefings (one per course) will serve, as a prologue to its compettions, spread throughout of the weekend.
CANFRANC CANFRANC 2022: The program
VERTICAL RACE: On Friday at 6:00 p.m., the inaugural edition of the Vertical Race (4k/D+927m) from Rioseta to Tuca Blanca opens fire. A classic track of Aragonese mountain skiing that will host a spectacular Vertical Kilometer, the 9th Gold Label race of the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup.
ULTRA 100KM: Friday at 22.00 kicks the Ultra 100k, which will depart from the Canfranc International Station. An extreme race due to its technical and physical demands, the winner of which will take about 16 hours to cover “The longest 100 kilometers in the world”. This true alpine challenge involves a 100k/D+8,848m course summiting 10 peaks, and passing through three ski resorts as the “low points” where to refuel: Formigal, Astún and Candanchú.
ULTRA 70KM: Saturday dawns at 6.00AM with the departure of the Ultra 70km. (70k/D+6,100m). A great high mountain race, crowning La Moleta, Vértice Anayet, or Aspe (2,645m) among other peaks, which would be the queen of the event in almost any other event.
MARATHON 45KM: Starting at 8AM, it is, the original event where it all began. Its 45k/D+4,000m course maintains an alpine and technical character enhanced by Racing to the top of La Moleta (2,572m), Larraca and Tuca Blanca peaks.
CLASSIC 16K: Sunday will put the finishing touch with the start at 8AM of the Classic 16k race, which is also the 10th Gold Label race in the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup. The closing ceremony will take place Sunday 2:00 p.m. onwards.
CANFRANC CANFRANC 2022: WORLD ELITE RUNNERS.
From Kenya to France, Italy, Australia, the United States, and Spain for sure. The winners of the Canfranc Canfranc in the previous fifteen years represent a true who’s who of this sport, both nationally and internationally. Up to three Spanish world champions, Luis Alberto Hernando, Manuel Merillas and Oihana Kortazar, have also been crowned at the Canfranc finish line. As have two foreign World Champions the USA Grayson Murphy in the Classic 16km and the British Charlotte Morgan in the Marathon.
This 2022 we will enjoy a historic edition: After 16 years, for the first time a runner could add his third gold in Canfranc, something never achieved even in the history of the race. There are three candidates with options for this: Antonio Martínez in the Classic 16km, as well as Pepelu Ballester and Marta Vidal in the 100km. All of them start among the favorites to defend the title and achieve the legendary triplet. Even so, it will not be easy for any given the density of rivals that we review below.
In the Ultra 100km of Alpinultras, among Marta Vidal’s rivals, the Hispanic-Romanian Ana Cristina Constantin (gold Gran Trail Peñalara 115k 2021, gold Trail 2 Heaven 50k 2022) or the Peruvian Martha Ccorahua stand out (silver Aran UTMB 100Mi 2022, silver Andorra UTMB 125k 2021). Pepelu’s rivals include the young Travesera Picos 2022 champion Sergio Alonso, the American Ben Dhiman (Gold Maxi Race Annecy 2022, Gold Gran Trail Valle de Ossau 2022) or the Australian veteran David Byrne (silver Tarawera Ultra 2017)
In the Classic 16km of the Valsir World Cup, two-time champion Antonio Martínez will once again face a great Luis Hernando (three-time world ultras athletics champion 2016-17-18) who was already silver in 2020 here, as well as number 2 in the world ranking WMRA the Kenyan Philemon Kiriago, and the young Frenchman Robert Loic runner-up France 2022 and MIUT Madeira Marathon champion.
The women’s race will be even more demanding, with the leader of the WMRA world ranking, the Kenyan Joyce Njeru as the favorite against the French Mathilde Sagnes (European bronze 2022 and silver OCC 2021 Chamonix) the Italian Camilla Magliano (Bronze Nid d’Aigles 2022, 4th Stellina Challenge 2022). Without forgetting the Spanish national team members Nuria Gil (European silver 2022) and Julia Font (Spanish Marathon Champion 2022) who will fight for the title to stay in Spain.
The new Vertical will also show a superb field for the Valsir World Cup. Kenyans Joyce Njeru and Philemon kiriago are the top favourites. Again versus the best Europeans, such as Mathilde Sagnes and Camilla Magliano, plus veteran Oihana Kortazar aspiring to everything for our country.
The men’s event will be the most outstanding in this case, since three of the best Europeans of the recent Championship will be facing the Kenyan: The Frenchman Robert Loic, the Irishman Zak Hanna (5th Europe 2022) and Spaniard Daniel Osanz (3rd European 2022)
CANFRANC CANFRANC 2022: TELEVISION & LIVE STREAMING.
Teledeporte, Aragon TV, CanfrancCanfranc and more. Live monitoring is the fourth great novelty of this 2022, which this year will have two very broad pillars to serve up to 17 hours of programming on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, both for live television and online streaming. First of all, the organization wanted each popular athlete to be followed by friends and family through the organization’s official website.
In addition, the social networks of the race will be reporting in real time about it, always grouped under the same heading #canfrancalpinultras that has been applied since 2016 until today.
The sports elite will also have the streaming sports broadcast by journalists Ana Samuelsson (editor Averno Trail) and Sergio Mayayo (editor Carrerasdemontana.com) together with the three-time world athletics Ultra Trail champion Luis Hernando, based in Jaca for years.
The broadcast can be followed live with different connections throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday, both from the television networks of Teledeporte and Aragón TV, as well as through the channel Youtube.com/moxigeno
Words and photos by Sergio Mayayo.