Penyagolosa Trails

Penyagolosa Trails HG. 2018 Trail World Championships.

Texts: Kissthemountain


oubts that coexist with hope. Nerves over excitement. Exhilaration that tries to overcome self-control. Optimism broken by fear. Indecisions that become diluted through confidence. Overcoming and emotional relapse. Cold that craves the heat. Thirst fighting against a loss of desire. Dreams that try to prevail disappointment. Cold sweat. Emotional ups and downs on the way to Sant Joan de Penyagolosa.

Run. Doubt. Wage. Fall. Overcome. Walk. Fear. Deny. Suffer. Smile. Win.

Why? Why do I not listen to whatever is telling me to stop? Why do I not give in to comfort? Why do I decide to go for the next feeding station when I doubted I could even reach this one? Why do I try to run instead of walk when I know I no longer have any strength? Why smile at that child when a moment ago I was swearing about what I was doing? Why do I keep fighting? Why?

The silence of the night is only broken by these noises. The light emitted by my headlamp and me. No one in front or behind. Cold. Very cold hands. The sky begins to grow light timidly in the east. Confidence wraps itself around any doubts and takes them away. Pace. Effort. A drop of sweat falls on my watch screen. Keep accumulating kilometers. MiM and CSP. Forever.

“What’s over there, beyond the mountain, if it’s not a human being?”. Walter Bonatti.

Minoru. Concentration and determination. The road to Sant Joan of Penyagolosa. It was written on your face.

Yeray. On-route to a well-deserved glory. A real pleasure to see you go up. Thank you for that duel in the sun.

Zaid. The smile always on your face. May it never be erased. Strength and conviction.

Miguel and Cristobal. First and second united in a hug. This is mountain running. May it never change!

Laia. MiM has paid back what it owed. And in what a way! Your face says it all. Amazing.

Timothy. Indisputable victory. Superiority and dominance. Fight and dedication. A true sight to see you head towards glory.

Gemma. Speechless. Alone at the finishing line, as deserved in this great race. How far can you go? As far as you want.


A very important indicator of success in the organization of a sporting event is undoubtedly the fact that one of its modalities (MiM) has reached its nineteenth edition this year, and that another (CSP) is already in its sixth. In addition, that in 2017 more than 4,400 people were pre-registered for a total of 2,100 bibs that went to runners of over thirty nationalities. This event was repeated within the Spain Ultra Cup series and, in particular, was selected to enter the prestigious group of the Ultra Trail World Tour. We could highlight other signs that prove Penyagolosa Trails is already a world reference in mountain races. Suffice to say that this year it will host the Trail World Championships. Without doubt a great reward for their hard work.

But when you show up in the Plaza de las Aulas in Castellon to pick up your bib and sense you are about to participate in one of the big races, it is not because of this data, but down to something very different. You breathe in happiness and kindness among the other runners, hundreds of volunteers, photographers and press, speakers, those looking after the trade stands… This event has not become dehumanized, it´s kept its feet on the ground. One feels comfortable and part of it all. Not just another number to add up to 2,100. No. You can see that each runner is important to a dedicated organization that is not seeking post congratulations in the specialized press, but rather to go unnoticed. The real protagonists are those who wear a bib on their chest. And their families who wait in Sant Joan de Penyagolosa. And the volunteers who go out of their way to ensure nothing is lacking. Everything is perfectly meshed, but not as a cold machine driven by electronic controls, but by something much more important and that makes Penyagolosa Trails HG what it is: the heart.

This sport is still in its infancy. Its evolution in recent years has been impressive. The number of people every day who fall in love with trail and the mountains does not stop growing. Along with the number of races and circuits. Many people think that perhaps too much so, and that its growth makes this sport prone towards the opposite of what we mentioned before, something that Penyagolosa Trails has managed to avoid: dehumanization.

There are runners and races that should safeguard the sport for its own good. One of them is Penyagolosa. It will do so. It is in their genes. The organizers of this now international event have been there since birth, taking care of it like a mother who looks after her child, from their Marató i Mitja (MiM) to their CSP. We are confident that they will continue in this role. Mountain races need it. That’s why we thank you in advance and shout out loud: PENYAGOLOSA, FOREVER. May the spirit of the mountain stay with you.

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