This weekend the FEDME Spanish Ultratrail Championship was held in Pola de Somiedo, in the Desafío Somiedo event. The Asturians proposed what is already a classic ultratrail race of the national trailrunning panorama: 83km and 10,300m+ through the spectacular Somiedo National Park. The challenge was attended by some of the best runners in Spain, and also 15 regional teams to compete for individual and team medals.
Among the favorites to victory, they highlighted among others the two times 2nd at the Trail World Championships, the canary Cristofer Clemente; the winner of the previous edition of the Desafío Somiedo, the Asturian Juanjo Somohano; the Basque army led by Javi Domínguez and Ion Azpiroz and the Valencian Ramón Recatalá. Among the girls, all eyes focused on the member of the Spanish team Gemma Arenas, on a roster that also highlighted Aroa Sío, Leire Martínez, Noelia Camacho and Mayi Mujika.
The Desafío Somiedo takes place at the end of July and also has a “marathon” distance of 47km and 5820m+. Temperatures are usually high, so runners traditionally compete against heat as one of their main difficulties in a very technical track, especially in the descents of the second part of the race. Despite this, the weather forecasts suggested that the rain would be the main protagonist of the 2019 edition, and so it was.
A dense fog accompanied the participants in the first stages of the race, and by midmorning it had turned into rain. The runners arrived soaked at the checkpoints, the track was filled with mud and the top of the Cornón, the highest point of the race, became much colder than expected. The muddy terrain should favor the northern runners, but the development of the race did not seem to change with the weather.
A group of runners, among which were Somohano and Recatalá, led the race during the first half, while Cristofer Clemente, undoubtedly the smartest of the day, launched his perfect plan: make his career, with the times marked in his strategy, and wait patiently for others to fall. Said and done: the canary reached Somohano and Recatalá in La Farrapona and ran with the asturianrd for the last 30km. The other runners were already far behind, and only the Basques Azpiroz and Martínez continued at a good pace. Agustín Luján was also climbing positions until finishing in a meritorious seventh place. In the end, Cristofer and Juanjo entered the finish line and the Canary gave the championship to the Spaniard, who was running at home. Somohano was proclaimed by this the new Spanish Ultradistance Champion for the first time in his career, in a very complicated year for him physically and personally, and showed that he is already among the elite of the Spanish trailrunning.
The girls lived a very different career. Gemma Arenas came with the thorn of Ultra Sierra Nevada, where he could not finish the race by losing herself when he led it with authority. A leadership to which she is very accustomed, and in Somiedo she was far superior to his companions once again. Only Aroa Sío, with an acceleration in the last kilometers, was able to track her. Arenas was thus proclaimed Spanish Ultradistance Champion for the third time in her career, after the editions of 2015 in the Gran Trail de Peñalara and 2016 in Ultra del Montseny.
Arenas and Somohano, companions of the HG AML Team, thus obtained a new double for a team that this year accumulates another double in the Trail Spain Championship (Albert Pujol and Azara García in Falcotrail) in addition to other important results. Both will meet again in Chamonix to run the CCC of UTMB, at the end of August, together with most of their teammates.
These were the results of the HG AML team in this edition of the Desafío Somiedo:
- Juanjo Somohano: 1º together with Cristofer Clemente y Spanish Ultradistance Champion
- Gemma Arenas: 1ª and Spanish Ultradistance Champion
- Agustín Luján: 7º
- Leire Martínez: 12a y Spanish Ultradistance Champion by teams (Basque Team)
- Cristina Santurino: 2ª in Maratón de Desafío Somiedo.