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Ultra Sierra Nevada: it was a scorcher

by Press Release
Monday 17th July 2017
At 12 midnight in the centre of Granada, a stone’s throw from the Alhambra, 400 runners from over 38 countries took to the start line in one of the most demanding trail running races in Spain. There was a high number of race abandonments due to the high temperatures which especially took their toll on the runners in the 2nd half of the race which was run at  2,000m above sea level. Race organisers added extra medical checks from 3:30pm onwards in each of the refreshment areas in order to review which athletes were able to continue running and who could not. 
Over the first few kilometres, a group of runners which consisted of Casey Morgan, Miguel Heras, Franco Collé, José Esteban, Juan Chacon, Juan Miguel Berzosa and Jose Antonio Cuevas fought for the leading positions in the race, a race which yet again showed how hard it is, with high temperatures, high altitude and a tough race route. Casey Morgan took an early advantage over the rest of the group and led a large part of the race. Just before reaching the 80km point however, Miguel Heras cancelled out the Scots lead, which had gone as high as 6 minutes in some parts of the course. Heras remained in the lead until he reached the finish line in a time of 12:23:10, despite a small fracture in one of his right toes after a bang in the 15th kilometre. With the withdrawal from the race of Casey Morgan due to stomach problems, the podium of the 4th edition of the Sierra Nevada was completed by José Esteban and Juan Miguel Berzosa who finished the race in 12:42:30 and 12:57:06 respectively.
In the women’s race, despite Noelia Camacho taking a sizeable lead for most of the race over her two strongest rivals, Sonia Escuriola and Melanie Rousseu, it was the French runner from Team WAA and current leader of the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT), who stormed past her competitors in the "wall" of the Vertical Kilometre as they headed towards Veleta, the highest point of the race at 3,100m above sea level. Rousseau was first to the finish line in a time of 15:41:01. Camacho, who felt strong over the course of the night, wasn't able to maintain the same rhythm in the early hours of the day due to the high temperatures and reached the finish in a time of 16:14:46. Sonia Escueriola took third in a time of 16:29:05 and spoke at the finish line of how hard the race was. 

Miguel Heras (left) and Melanie Rousseu (right)

Trail race and Marathon
The 62km race started at 6 in the morning from Beas de Granada. Albert Pujol took the lead in the early stages but the runner from TEAM SportHG AML finally finished in third place in 06:51:25 and it was Juan Pérez who took the win in 06:34:32 with Álvaro Velázquez second in 06:40:06. In the female race, there was a great battle for 1st place between Monica Vives and Irma Lorena Durchi. Vives maintained her slight lead of 2 minutes over her rival for much of the course and got to the finish line in a winning time of 05:25:19. In the end, Durchi crossed the finish line in Pradollano less than a minute behind in 05:26:09. Third place in the Trail distance went to Sonia Mundina in 05:40:08.
450 runners started the marathon race at 8:30 in the morning in Quéntar. José María Blanco in a time of 04.09.50 was the first to cross the finish line. David Mundial in 04:26:02 and Israel Prado in 04:26:59 were second and third respectively. In the female race, Portuguese runner Ester Alves repeated last years win, in a time of 05:11:15, not quite as quick as 2016's finishing time. Elena Cambil was second in 05:15:03 and Eva María Sánchez Olmedo third in 05:50:16. 
New leader in the WAA Spain Ultra Cup circuit 
José Esteban Martínez who finished in 2nd place was proclaimed "leader" in the XL race category. Melanie Rousset, champion of the queen distance moves into second. In the M race category, Albert Pujol remains as leader and Mónica Vives's win moves her into the "leader" position in the female category. 
The fourth edition of the Ultra Sierra Nevada counted as points towards the Ultra Cup of Andalucía of the Federación Andaluza de Montañismo (FAM) and was also the Andalucian 2017 ultra championship. The winners were Juan Chacón with his third place finish and Noelia Camacho with her second place finish. 
Main results:
1. Miguel Ángel HERAS HERNÁNDEZ 12:23:10
2. José Esteban MARTINEZ 12:42:30
3. Juan CHACON RESINA 12:57:06
1. Melanie ROUSSET 15:41:01
2. Noelia CAMACHO ORTEGA 16:14:46
3. Sonia ESCUROLA 16:29:05
1. Juan PÉREZ TORREGLOSA 06:34:32
2. Álvaro VELÁZQUEZ GUTIÉRREZ 06:40:06
3. Albert PUJOL GARCÍA 06:51:25
1. Monica VIVES 08:08:03
2. Irma Lorena DUCHI GOMEZ 08:19:25
3. Sonia MUNDINA GIL 08:53:45
1. José María BLANCO CAMPAÑA 04:09:50
2. David MUNDINA GIL 04:26:02
3. Israel PRADO MARTÍN - SIERRA 04:26:59
1. Ester ALVES 05:11:15
2. Elena CAMBIL MEDINA 05:15:03
3. Eva María SÁNCHEZ OLMEDO 05:50:16

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