This past weekend saw South Africa’s top trail running team, Christiaan Greyling (Jeep Team/Salomon/Garmin) and Landie Greyling, embarked on an epic race through the Cantabrian Mountains in the north of Spain. Three stages, 98 km and almost 8000 metres of elevation gain stood between them and the finish line of the Riaño Trail Run in the north of Spain.
The first stage covered 29.9km from the start in Valverde de la Sierra to the finish in Boca de Huérgano. The route ascended Pico Espigüete and continued along the peaks of the Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre. The Greyling’s finished the stage in a time of 04:36:03, crossing the line in 5th place overall and 1st in the Mixed Category.
In the men’s category, Antonio Valle and Manuel Picon (Team Selec. Andaluza CXM) crossed the line in first place in a time of 04:04:10; and in the women’s category, Angels Llobera and Gabriela Sanchez (Team Inverseteam) crossed the line in first place with a time of 05:38:46.
Says Christiaan Greyling, “Day 1 involved a lot of super technical ascents and descents. It was very interesting racing from Peak to Peak.”
Stage 2 started in Caín de Valdeón in the heart of Picos de Europa National Park. The 45km route featured spectacular mountain scenery and 4127m of elevation gain before finishing at Ermita del Pontón. The duo finished the second stage in 4th place overall and 1st in the Mixed Category with a time of 06:48:41, some 30 minutes ahead of the second-placed mixed team.
Cody Lind and Martin Gaffuri (Team Scott Running) were the first team across the line in the men’s category with a time of 06:13:33; in the women’s category, first place again went to Inverseteam in a time of 08:23:28.
Commented Greyling, “Running in Picos de Europa felt like we were part of The Lord of the Rings movie. It poured with rain all day, but every now and then it cleared up for a vista out of this world!”
The third stage of the race from Salamon and to Riaño ascended Pico Gilbo, a characteristic slope resembling the Matterhorn of the Alps.
Christiaan and Landie finished the 23km final stage in 02:40:15, once again crossing the line as the 1st mixed team.
In the final stage, Scott Running and Inverseteam took first place in the men’s and women’s categories respectively. The men’s team completed the stage in 02:26:25, while the women’s team finished in a time of 03:09:53.
The Greyling’s completed the 98km race in 14:09:59, almost 40 minutes faster than the second-placed mixed team.
Says Greyling, “We are wowed by what we experienced on the Riaño Trail Run. Gracias Riaño Trail for a super trail.”
Results – Riaño Trail Run
1. Landie Greyling/Christiaan Greyling 14:09:59
2. Fátima Sanmartin/Sergio Pensado 14:48:21
3. David Castán/Nuria Dominguez 14:58:57