The Ultra Pyrenees It is one of the hardest and most beautiful races in the world. 100 kilometers ahead crossing the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, under suffocating temperatures. Miguel Arsenioaluminum door installer, crossed the finish line in first position. It arrived without making a noise and silenced many mouths. In the female category it was Marta Molist who took the cat into the water. The Catalan runner hugged her son at the finish line. It was her first Ultra Pirineu and she was crowned on “one of the worst days in the race” Núria Picas.
Like fireflies, the fronts of the 1,100 runners of the Ultra Pirineu vibrated behind the starting line. They were the five in the morning and there was half an hour left before departure. Almost everyone, however, was already there. The majority of athletes positioned themselves at the starting line while the professional runners arrived. The big favorites to win the medal.
At the same time the current champions arrived, Miguel Heras and Núria Picas. Applauded, they were placed first in line while the hundred spectators who got up early to fill every corner of the tiny Porxada square cheered and applauded them while they checked their watches. There were just a few minutes left until departure and the music was starting to get louder. “The Last of the Mohicans” began to reverberate louder and louder between the walls of the small town of Bagà. At the same time, the runners warmed up for the last time, hugged each other and put on their equipment properly. The time had come, 100 km and 6,600 meters of positive slope They were waiting for them. When she finished the countdown, a millisecond before the burst of screams.
They left in a rush, an exhalation. Adrenaline, desire and impatience gave the spectators an exit that made your hair stand on end. At high speed, the more than a thousand runners headed down the narrow street that led to the exit of the town, where they entered the mountain and began the route that no one completed until ten hours and 37 minutes later.
When the sun began to wake up, the runners reached the Niu de l’Àliga, the highest point of the route, at 2,500 meters above sea level, in La Molina. Dozens of followers crowded the almost vertical climb that gave access to the mountain refuge. There, after the first provisioning and hugs with their families present, more than 80 kilometers awaited them. From there, a hard journey under a sun of justice. The high temperatures have made the already exhausting race, a duel against the temperatures and extreme fatigue.
The Portuguese Miguel Arsenio He was the first to cross the finish line. The runner ran the last few meters cheered by the hundreds of people who gathered in Plaça de Catalunya. He high-fived, looking at the sky and the giant screen where he looked enormous, like what he achieved in the 14th edition of the Ultra Pirineu. His goal was to reach the top five, under 11 hours, but his great performance earned him first place on the podium.
🟢 #SUP100K And the winner of the SALOMON ULTRA PYRENEES 2023 is… Miguel Arsénio 100km in 10 hours, 37 minutes and 50 seconds!! What joy! Congratulations champion! Congratulations! Congratulations! What a race! What a thrill! 🤩🎊🎉#ViuLaSUP2023 #SUP2023 @spartantrailwc pic.twitter.com/Nu8OiyEva7
— Salomon Ultra Pirineu (@UltraPirineu) September 30, 2023
“He big change in my life came when I changed my job. I used to work in shifts, and now I work eight hours a day so I can take advantage. “I can enjoy it,” he said as soon as he crossed the finish line, “exhausted,” confessed the man who, before devoting himself to trail running, he was a professional cyclist. Aluminum door assembler, he used to work at night and had to sleep during the day. “It was shit,” she confesses. Now she can dedicate herself to training. Thus he was able to reach the Ultra Pirineu at his best, where he wrote his name in the history of the mythical test.
Behind the Portuguese, a few minutes later, came Miguel Heras. He suffered, he considered giving up, but he did not leave aside the sacrifice and forced himself not to give up. He arrived in second position, just ahead of the Valencian Rodrigo Monasorthe great Spanish promise of ultra-distance.
In the women’s category it was a much crazier race. The positions were not clear until the last kilometers, where Marta Molist was imposed categorically. The Catalan had an exceptional final third of the race, which earned her the crown ultra distance champion in her test debutto. While Molist was the face, he took the cross Núria Picas. The legend of ultradistance lived “one of the worst days of his career“. “I feel very bad. But I want to finish with respect to this sport, the people and the organization. I have pain. But I’ll hug him and finish, even if it’s at 4 in the morning,” she said two-thirds of the way through the race.
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