Sobrarbe - Spanish Raids Adventure Championship 2019
This past weekend, the second edition of Raid Sobrarbe has been organized by the Wakhan Raiders and Peña Guara clubs and the Spanish and Aragonese Orientation Federations.
The test was the Championship of Spain and Aragon in adventure racing and was attended by about 200 runners from all over the country as well as from some foreign countries such as France or Brazil.
The center for the event was once again the town of Aínsa and its historic castle where the start and finish of the competition took place. The participants had to face a hard and demanding route proposed by the organization of about 170km with more than 6000 meters of ascent through the most beautiful corners of the Sobrarbe region.
On Saturday, and with all eyes on the capricious weather, the adventure began with an orientation section on foot in the old town of Aínsa that took the runners to the sports hall. Here they changed their shoes for bicycles and in the second section they joined Aínsa with Ceresa after about 25km crossing through Torrelisa, Araguás or Laspuña.
At about 12 o'clock in the morning Ceresa became the nerve center of the raid during Saturday. There began the third section of orientation on foot around the town with a special test of climbing and rappelling on rock.
After four hours of the race the first participants began the most demanding section of the raid, a combined mountain bike and trekking test that led them to reach first the Collada de Ceresa on two wheels and then a hard trekwith more than 1200m of ascent that led to the runners to the top of the Peña Montañesa (2,299m).
As it was about to get dark for the night the teams faced the fifth18km trekking section between the towns of Ceresa and Escalona, â€‹â€‹where a special Laser Shot test was conducted.
The good weather lasted all day until at nightfall the rains that were so predicted made an appearance making the race much harder. The sixth section of MTB went through emblematic places of Sobrarbe, like the abandoned Wall of Bellos or San Vicente de Labuerda and its Romanesque church, until reaching the Castle of Aínsa again.
At this point in the Raid and with more than 100km in the legs, the Adventure, Women's and Junior teams stopped their race for the night, while the Elite category, in the NonStop format, continued throughout the night with the rest of tests.
The seventh section for these titans consisted of a trek through the area of â€‹â€‹Cerro Partara and Cerro Cotón of about 20km hardened especially by the rains and the abundant presence of mud on the ground. Already with the dawn the first teams started with the eighth section of MTB that had to be trimmed due to the rains. (Completing the San Martin Ravine was the plan, but for safety this special test was suspended.)
As a final point to this adventure, the teams made a ninth and final section of urban walking orientation through the town of Aínsa to reach the finish line located in the Castle.
On Sunday at 09.00 in the morning the Adventure, Women and Junior categories started again as well as the Promotion category, which had to complete an urban walking orientation section, another MTB section around Guaso and a last trekking by Cerro Partara until reaching the finish line.
The winners of the Raid and of the Spanish Championship in the Elite category were the Galicians of the ‘Marqués de Vizhoja - Cornelios - Brigantia Team’ who completed the route with 168 points after 23h 08'.
Completing the podium were Galician Aromon Gramola in second place and third were Lugo Fluvial - Os Barbas..
The local Whakan Raiders team was proclaimed Champion of Aragon and in the Mixed Adventure category, the Champions of Spain and winners of the raid were the locals of the Tierra Trágame with 151 points and a time of 19h 07'.
In the Male Adventure category the winners were the locals of Plan-O with 153 points and a time of 19h 30'. In the Women's category the winners were COBI Neskak Basque with 124 points and 19h 46’and among the youngest the winners of the Junior category were the Extremadura of Ithaca Club.
Finally, the winners of the Sunday Promotion category were the EXEA MR who completed the tour in 4h 22 ’. On Sunday at noon the trophy ceremony and subsequent meal (with Tronzadora beer) took place giving all the participants and volunteers regained strength for their return trip home.
From the organization it is only to thank the great work done throughout the weekend by the more than 50 volunteers of both clubs who have barely slept for a few hours and have worked hard to carry out the race always with a big smile on their faces.
Thanks to for the collaboration of local entities (Comarca de Sobrarbe, Aínsa, Laspuña, Labuerda and Pueyo de Aragúas municipalities) as well as local companies (Rondadora Beers, La Reja Butcher Shop - Cas Fes, Cárnicas Ferrer and Trangoworld) which presented the winners with products.