Brits Unite Trail And Mountain Running In La Palma

As you tuck into your Sunday dinners, 26 athletes representing Great Britain will have christened the European Off Road Running Championships at El Paso on the Canarian island of La Palma. Passing through Los Cristianos, Tenerife for their ferry, the athletes and 7 coaching staff looked confident and relaxed for the three day newly combined event for mountain running and trail racing.

Bejenao mountain dominates La Palma with a 800 metre high peak at an altitude of 1600 metres. It´s the focal point for 10 events to be decided over both disciplines with races uphill only, up and down, or the winding trails. Even before the main competition starts on Friday, there is a mass night race of 6.5 k just to get the legs moving. The weekend is a chance for La Palma to reestablish its credentials as a major venue for athletes who want to challenge nature. In 2020 La Palma hosted the Spanish Mountain Running Championships as the shadow of Covid and the fiirst rumbles of a volcanic eruption loomed large,

Great Britain team manager Mark Croasdale viewed now as the perfect time for his squad to push on with their training programme, many had recently taken part in the Three Peaks Challenge in the UK. “We have a lot of young runners who have recently finished university and exams, this will give them a competitive challenge in a European competition. We flew over from Manchester with no delays or problems (despite much publiced weeks of airport turmoil) landed in Tenerife and now have the short ferry crossing to La Palma. It´s a good squad with strength in depth at all levels.”

Sport has been one constant in the difficult last three years for the Canary Islands but large groups of international swimmers, athletes, beach volleyball players and fun runners have still been heading in to enjoy the weather and facilities. There´s always a big welcome for visitors looking to test themselves against nature.