Tim Freriks (post-race interview) and Ida Nilsson (pre-race and post-race interviews) put on master-class performances to win the 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon. Nilsson’s win was a solo run from almost the start to the finish, and Freriks managed to shake his pursuers along the race’s highest country after midway to run unchallenged from there to the finish line.
2017 Transvulcania Men’s Race
As every year, Transvulcania gathers some of the best athletes of our sport from all around the world. And for the first time in a few editions, the guy who pushed the train from the start at Faro de Fuencaliente was the one crossing the finish line in first. Both of the USA, Tim Freriks and Hayden Hawks (pre-race interview) looked like they were running a team race for some time. France’s Ludovic Pommeret and Nicolas Martin (pre-race interview) were also seemingly working together, a few meters back–something really nice to see in this individual sport.
The Americans ran fast from the beginning, breaking from the field by Los Canarios, the first aid station. They kept working to open that gap, making it over three minutes to the chasing field at El Pilar, 26 kilometers into the race. The chase pack there was made up of Pommeret, Martin, Xavier Thévenard (France), Scotland’s Tom Owens, and Spain’s Zaid Ait Malek (post-race interview), and it was collectively working hard to shorten this gap.
Things changed on the way to El Roque de los Muchachos, where Hawks paid for his effort and fell behind Freriks and, then, the rest of the lead group, but he continued on to finish line in a gutsy effort. On the other hand, Freriks had a difference of almost 20 minutes to his chasers, facing the vertiginous downhill from 8,000 feet above sea level to the ocean at Tazacorte. We’ve seen this movie before here at Transvulcania, and usually, the U.S. dude doesn’t have the happy ending he wishes to have. But breaking precedent, Freriks handled the downhill in a fantastic way to hammer the last climb from El Puerto de Tazacorte to the finish line in first place and bring the win to the U.S. again in 7:02:03.
Pommeret showed his patience and expertise by opening a gap to the chase group in the downhill. He separated from the group just after El Roque de los Muchachos, and finished in second place in 7:18:15. But the podium wasn’t closed, and the fight for that final spot was hectic. Thévenard fell behind the group before the highest part of the race and Owens dropped from the group when the downhill started, as an injury kept him from showing his skills in this area. Everything was prepared for Martin to jump on the podium again. But Ait Malek played his cards brilliantly and flew down to Tazacorte, marking the fastest downhill split, and finishing in third place in 7:26:31. Martin was finally fourth, less than two minutes back, in 7:28:08.
Daniel Jung (Italy) and Hector Haines (U.K.) made great progressive races, finishing in fifth and sixth positions. They also fought for those spots in the last six kilometers of the race. Thévenard ended in seventh place, Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) eighth, Jason Schlarb (USA) ninth, and Manuel Anguita (Spain) 10th. Amazingly, while first through fifth places were separated by 33 minutes, the fight in the back half of the top 10 was tight with a spread of just 11.5 minutes between fifth and 10th places.
2017 Transvulcania Men’s Results
- Tim Freriks — 7:02:03 (post-race interview)
- Ludovic Pommeret (Hoka One One) — 7:18:15
- Zaid Ait Malek (BUFF) — 7:26:31 (post-race interview)
- Nicolas Martin (Hoka One One) — 7:28:08 (pre-race interview)
- Daniel Jung (SCARPA) — 7:35:05
- Hector Haines (SCOTT) — 7:36:12
- Xavier Thevenard (Asics) — 7:39:07
- Dmitry Mityaev (adidas) — 7:40:29
- Jason Schlarb (Altra) — 7:40:51
- Manuel Anguita — 7:46:29
2017 Transvulcania Women’s Race
Before the race, we chatted with Sweden’s Ida Nilsson (pre-race and post-race interviews) and she said she was feeling fine, in good shape. That was certainly the truth. Exactly as last year, she broke herself from the rest of the field and ran her own race in front, pushing hard from start to finish. As far as 23 kilometers in a 75k race, she already had a gap of over eight minutes to her immediate follower, Anne-Lise Rousset (France). Just as last year.
Nilsson mastered this course again, winning this race from start to finish, finishing in the top 20 overall in 8:04:17. Just to add a detail, she suffered a fall in the downhill that required a few stitches in her knee.
Rousset had to fight to keep her second place. Even though she ran by herself in this position for most of the race, the difference between she and her chasers was really close. And that’s because the USA’s Hillary Allen (pre-race and post-race interviews) and Ragna Debats (Netherlands) were working progressively and pushing each other for the podium spots. So close was that, at the 50k mark in El Roque de los Muchachos, the gap between the three was only six minutes. Rousset to Allen four minutes, Allen to Debats only two minutes. But this race is always defined in the downhill and this was no exception. Rousset managed to open a few more minutes that allowed her to repeat last year’s second place in 8:32:15.
Even though she suffered some cramps in the downhill, Allen escaped from Debats and improved her fifth place from last year to a third place this year, in 8:38:46. Finally, Debats was fourth in 8:45:22.
Eva Mariá Moreda (Spain) cruised the whole race in fifth place, running solid and steady. Even though it was a ‘shorter’ race for Andrea Huser’s (Switzerland) expertise in longer distances, she managed to finish in sixth place in 9:09:21.
Russia’s Ekaterina Mityaeva was seventh, Cassie Scallon from the U.S. was eighth, France’s Sarah Vieuille ninth, and Kristina Pattison from the U.S. rounded the top 10. Similar to the men’s race, the spread between fifth and 10th women was much less–26.5 minutes–than the spread between first and fifth–59 minutes–making the fight for positions tough and tight in the back half of the top 10.
2017 Transvulcania Women’s Results
- Ida Nilsson (Salomon) — 8:04:17 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Anne Lise Rousset (Oxsitis) — 8:32:15
- Hillary Allen (The North Face) — 8:38:46 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Ragna Debats (Tuga) — 8:45:22
- Eva Mariá Moreda (Inverse) — 9:03:45
- Andrea Huser (Mammut) — 9:09:21
- Ekaterina Mityaeva (adidas) — 9:19:38
- Cassie Scallon (Salomon) — 9:22:28
- Sarah Vieuille (Tecnica) — 9:24:25
- Kristina Pattison (La Sportiva) — 9:31:09
2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Mile Articles, Race Reports, and More
- Kristina Pattison – 10th woman
Thanks to Miguelito Rodriguez, Javito Garcia, and Nacho Barranco Frías for their field reporting! Our coverage couldn’t have happened without them.