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RUN247 / Race Previews / WATCH AGAIN: Courtney Dauwalter and Raul Butaci triumph at Transgrancanaria 2024

WATCH AGAIN: Courtney Dauwalter and Raul Butaci triumph at Transgrancanaria 2024

All you need to know about a star-studded edition, which is also the latest race in the World Trail Majors.
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Race Guide

Since its first edition in 2003, this event in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands has grown in stature each year and 2024 will again see some of the world’s very best ultrarunners lock horns on the challenging and diverse trails.

There are a range of different races taking place this week for all ages and abilities – they range from a 12km family / youth challenge up to the ‘Advanced 84km’ and ‘Classic 126km’, the latter of which again features American superstar and defending women’s champion Courtney Dauwalter.

Also lining up is former CCC winner and last year’s UTMB runner-up Zach Miller who makes his debut in the Canaries.

Sponsored by The North Face, this is also the third stop in the revamped World Trail Majors following the Hong Kong 100 and the Black Canyon Ultras.

 

The action gets under way with a short – but very sharp – KV ‘El Gigante’ which packs over 1,000 metres of climbing into a 5.5km route.

The big favourite for the women’s title in that is Katie Schide, the UTMB winner in 2022. That kicks things off on Wednesday at 1530 local time (same as UK, 1630CET and 1130 Eastern) and you can follow it here.

But the races we’ll be focussing on are the Advanced over 84km (4,900m of elevation) and the Classic 126km, with 6,804m climbing.

The latter begins at 2359 on Friday (1859 Eastern and Saturday 0059CET), while the Advanced is the last race of the week to get under way eight hours later.

Live tracking for all races is here.

And you can watch the live streaming of the Classic via the YouTube embed below.

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The North Face Transgrancanaria

start list

The full elite start list for the 126km Classic is here, as are all the other races this week.

Do note though that there have been some changes to the initial entries – UTMB winner Jim Walmsley for example doesn’t now appear on the latest lists for the highest-ranked athletes on ITRA which you can see via the image below.

latest transgrancanaria start lists
[Image courtesy of The North Face Transgrancanaria]

Notable runners

Route

All the races finish in the south of the island at Parc sur Maspalomas.

The Classic heads there from the north east tip, having started at Las Canteras, taking in checkpoints at Tenoya, Arucas, Teror and Moya before joining up with the Advanced route. That begins at Agaete on the north west coast and its first checkpoint at El Hornillo is the Classic’s fifth. Each then have five more before the finish line beckons.

Both feature an incredible network of paths and trails which in the past acted as livestock routes which connected the whole island.

Analysis

No doubt at all who the headline names are for the 126km Classic – American pair Courtney Dauwalter and Zach Miller.

Dauwalter had an unprecedented 2023 which started with a victory in this very race and was followed by a remarkable trio of wins at Western States 100, Hardrock 100 and then UTMB.

“We absolutely loved our time on this island last February and knew we had to come back,” she wrote on her social media channels about her return and she’s the overwhelming favourite for the women’s title, though Spain’s Azara García de los Salmones is looking to add to her Classic titles from 2017 and 2021.

In contrast it’s a first appearance in the event for Miller, who is representing race sponsors The North Face’s team.

He’s a former winner of the CCC at UTMB, was runner-up in UTMB itself last year to Jim Walmsley and 12 months ago showed he can start the season in winning form with a victory at the Tarawera Ultramarathon (now Ultra-Trail).

“This is a race that has been on my radar for a while now,” he said in the build up. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to do it. The idea of crossing the island of Gran Canaria is great and the race looks very competitive.”

That last comment is underlined by the fact that two athletes are actually ahead of Miller on the latest ITRA rankings.

China’s Jiasheng Shen won the Hong Kong 100 in 2019 and was a fine fourth at Western States last year. He raced here last year but was a DNF, a rare blip given that he was runner-up in the 2023 CCC at UTMB and also won no fewer than six races in 2022.

Italian star Andreas Reiterer, runner-up in the trail running world championship held in Austria in 2023, splits Shen and Miller in the rankings while Catalan favourite Andreu Simon returns to defend his title in a stacked field.

Previous winners

Last 10 winners of the Classic – 126km

2014 – Núria Picas / Ryan Sandes

2015 – Núria Picas / Gediminas Grinius

2016 – Caroline Chaverot / Didrik Hermansen

2017 – Azara García de los Salmones / Pau Capell

2018 – Magdelena Laczak / Pau Capell

2019 – Magdelena Laczak / Pau Capell

2020 – Katylyn Gerbin / Pablo Villa & Pau Capell

2021 – Azara García de los Salmones / Aurelien Dunand-Pallaz

2022 – Ragna Debats / Pablo Villa

2023 – Courtney Dauwalter / Andreu Simon

Past winners

2012
Claire Bannwarth
152:23:00

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Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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