Nearly two thousand runners will take the start this weekend in one of the five distances of the Ultra Sierra Nevada, which in its eighth edition incorporates a new modality, the Extrema, 100 miles (160 kilometres) and 15,000 metres of vertical drop, starting and finishing in Pradollano, and which places this event among the great international mountain ultramarathon events.
With a hundred participants in the running, the Extrema will open the weekend's programme, starting at 8:00 on Friday 1 April. The maximum time to complete the race is 39 hours.
On Friday night (22:00), in the city of Granada, the start of the Ultra category will take place. Participants will tackle a 100-kilometre route with 5,480 metres of positive vertical drop and will reach the foot of the Veleta peak (3,100 metres above sea level) to finally descend to Pradollano. In addition, for the second consecutive year, the Ultra Championship of the Andalusian Athletics Federation will be held in this category.
In addition to Pradollano and Granada, other towns in the province will have the luxury of hosting the start of the other categories on the programme. Thus, the Trail, the little brother of the Ultra with 62 kilometres and 3,700 metres of positive difference in altitude, will start in Beas de Granada on Saturday at 6:00 am. The Marathon distance (40 kilometres and 2,700 metres of positive difference in altitude) will start at 10:00 am from the town of Quéntar. The shorter Half Marathon, meanwhile, will offer 25 km and 2,100 metres of positive vertical drop between the town of Pinos de Genil and the Pradollano resort on Sunday.
During today's presentation of the race, José Manuel Toledo, director of TerraIncógnita - the race organiser - admitted that the event "is crazy", involving 500 people, a movement of 20,000 kilos of material and 15,000 litres of water, "which means an enormous logistical effort".
Toledo underlined the growth of "the female presence, with 15% of the total participation, which shows that women are becoming more and more involved in extreme events. Also noteworthy is the large international component with 16% of runners from outside Spain. The economic return study carried out in the previous edition indicates that the Ultra has an impact of 1.3 million euros".
For his part, the CEO of Cetursa Sierra Nevada, Jesús Ibáñez, pointed out that the Ultra "is an event that is totally compatible between the ski slopes and the race course. We are ready to experience a unique event this weekend".
The Secretary General for Sports of the Junta de Andalucía in Granada, Javier Contreras, emphasised that the Ultra Sierra Nevada, "a competition of overcoming, effort and physical and mental strength", is an example of how "the public-private relationship for the organisation of sporting events" can work, in this case "in the best possible sporting infrastructure, which is Sierra Nevada and its surroundings".
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)