American Courtney Dauwalter and Romanian Raul Butaci win The North Face Transgrancanaria Classic


Courtney Dauwalter and Raul Butaci win The North Face Transgrancanaria Classic

  • American star claims her second consecutive victory on the island with a time of 15:14:54, ahead of Claudia Tremps and Emma Stuart
  • Romanian runner leads the race at Tejeda, finishing 10 minutes ahead of veteran Miguel Heras, the runner-up
  • American Tara Fraga and Polish Andrzej Witek win the Advanced category

American Courtney Dauwalter and Romanian Raul Butaci have emerged as the winners of The North Face Transgrancanaria Classic event, the third race of the international Gran Canaria Word Trail Majors circuit. Dauwalter secured her second consecutive victory in the Gran Canaria event by crossing the finish line with a time of 15:14:54, while Butaci, residing in Catalonia, clocked in at 13:22:32. In the women’s category, Catalan Claudia Tremps claimed the second position, followed by Irishwoman Emma Stuart in third.

The 25th edition of The North Face Transgrancanaria did not disappoint, presenting one of the most demanding editions in recent years due to adverse weather conditions. After an emotional start at Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, amidst intermittent drizzle, runners faced a challenging night with low temperatures, rain, and strong winds in the early hours, followed by intense heat on the southern slope of Gran Canaria until reaching the finish line at Parque Sur.

Dauwalter dominated the women’s race throughout and crossed the finish line at 3:14 PM on Saturday afternoon. She once again enjoyed the warmth of the Canarian crowd at the finish line, reciprocating their cheers with a beer in hand. However, despite this emotional moment and her affection for Gran Canaria after completing the 126-kilometer race, she admitted that this year’s edition was much tougher than last year. In fact, she pointed out to race organizers after passing the doping control that she had been struggling in the race since Fontanales due to slippery terrain, rain, fog, wind, and cold.

Following Dauwalter, Catalan Claudia Tremps crossed the finish line with a time of 16:27:03, securing the second position after Azara García de los Salmones withdrew due to physical discomfort in Tejeda. Meanwhile, Irishwoman Emma Stuart completed the women’s podium, with Polish Dominika Stelmach finishing fourth.

In the men’s category, Romanian Raul Butaci emerged victorious. The Catalonia-based runner took the lead at Tejeda and continued to widen the gap with his pursuers until crossing the finish line at Parque Sur solo with a time of 13:22:32.

Butaci led the race from the Tejeda checkpoint, located at kilometer 66, distancing himself from his pursuers. Veteran Miguel Heras, the 2010 champion, maintained the second position throughout. At 48 years old, Heras managed to finish just over ten minutes behind the winner (13:32:48).

„A podium would have been perfect, a top five would have been more than happy, but victory wasn’t even dreamed of. Last year, I finished fourth, I knew where I had failed and the mistakes I made, and this year success had to come, and it seems it did,” he said after crossing the finish line.

The third spot on the podium was fiercely contested until the last meter. Fellow Romanian Ionel Cristian Manole secured the third place (13:49:04), with just 36 seconds ahead of Catalan Abel Carretero after completing the 126 kilometers. Another battle ensued to enter the top five. Chinese runner Jiasheng Shen (14:04:40) ultimately claimed the position with just over three minutes ahead of Andreu Simón, last year’s winner, and six minutes ahead of American Zach Miller from The North Face team, who finished sixth and seventh respectively. The first Canary to cross the finish line was Estanislao Rivero from Gran Canaria, finishing eleventh overall with a time of 15:08:02, followed by Alexis Martín (16:30:26) and Juan Pablo Gil (17:04:30) from Tenerife.

As for the other race held on Saturday, the Advanced category, which started at 8:00 AM at Puerto de Las Nieves, American Tara Fraga claimed victory with a time of 09:38:37, ahead of Swiss Kathrin Götz (10:03:11) and Slovenian Martina Klancnik (10:18:09). In the men’s category, Polish runner Andrzej Witek won (08:11:23), followed by Italian Davide Cheraz (08:21:26) and Cantabrian Borja Fernández (08:30:30). Additionally, Canarian Albi Cedrés, being the first local runner to reach Parque Sur, was crowned the ultradistance champion of the Canary Islands since the Advanced category was a scoring race of the Canarian Mountain Federation. For the women, it is expected that the first Canary athlete, Claudia Mola, will finish later on Saturday night.

The 25th edition of The North Face Transgrancanaria will conclude on Sunday at 06:00 AM with the closing of the finish line for the races held on Saturday. The award ceremony for the Marathon, Advanced, and Classic categories will take place starting at 12:00 PM.

The North Face Transgrancanaria is organized by Arista Eventos and takes place between February 21 and 25 of this year. It is sponsored by the institutions Cabildo de Gran Canaria, through Gran Canaria Tourism and the Insular Sports Institute; the Government of the Canary Islands with Islas Canarias Latitud de Vida; Maspalomas Costa Canaria; the Municipal Sports Institute of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; and the Tejeda City Council. It also has the support of companies The North Face, San Roque University Hospitals, Fred. Olsen Express, 226ERS, Sonocom Audiovisuals, Lopesan Hotel Group, Expomeloneras, and Aguas de Teror.

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