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Dakota Jones back at Transvulcania 11 years on from beating Kilian Jornet

Olly Green
Updated on

Dakota Jones is back at Transvulcania by UTMB this year, 11 years on from his stunning win ahead of the legendary Kilian Jornet.

America’s Jones claimed victory at the La Palma race as a 21-year-old in 2012, beating Britain’s Andy Symonds by nearly two minutes and finishing a further nine minutes clear of Jornet.

That year’s Transvulcania field also included French stars Francois D’Haene, a four-time winner at the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), and Eric Clavery, who was ninth at this year’s Marathon des Sables.

American star

Jones has had a glittering ultra running career, claiming wins at a host of domestic races including Desert Rats, MOAB Trail Marathon and Broken Arrow Skyrace.

The 32-year-old, who has also finished on the podium at Hardrock 100 three times, competed at the Gorge Waterfalls 50km last month, but prior to that his last race was the Javelina Jundred in October – which he won.

Jones has spent time in the Utah mountains during the winter but he is now ready to return to action at Transvulcania, his third time at the race since his 2012 success.

Dakota Jones after winning the 2012 Transvulcania
Dakota Jones after winning the 2012 Transvulcania [Photo credit: Transvulcania]

“Two weeks from today I’ll be trading my spikes out for…well, just normal running shoes, I guess, because I’ll be racing across the whole island of La Palma at Transvulcania,” he wrote on Instagram.

“This has been a busy winter for me and my running has been inconsistent through a lot of it, but I’ve been training quite well the last few weeks and I’m really looking forward to going back to a race I’ve done 3(!) times before in such a unique place.

“It’s always competitive and I’ll do my best, but it feels more like an opportunity to see a lot of old friends.

“Crazy to think the first time I went to La Palma was 2012; I’m grateful to have the health and strength to still run hard over a decade later!

“Now I just need to motivate for the last few hard runs.”

2022 form

Jones’ previous two Transvulcania attempts – in 2014 and 2015 – resulted in 10th and fourth respectively, but he will buoyed by a stellar 2022.

In addition to his Javelina Jundred win, he reigned supreme at Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB and picked up third at the Hardrock 100 as Jornet set a course record.

There will be no Jornet at this year’s Transvulcania but Jones will be up against the likes of four-time Italian trail running champion Andreas Reiterer, China’s Yanqiao Yun, a winner at last year’s Val d’Aran by UTMB and compatriot Tim Toleffson, a two-time UTMB podium finisher.

Olly Green
Written by
Olly Green
Olly is the content lead for RUN247, is a regular contributor to TRI247 and keeps an eye out for content that appeals to both audiences including interviews with pro Heather Jackson.

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