2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Results: Jon Albon and Ruth Croft Win

Results from the 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon in La Palma, Spain, won by Jon Albon and Ruth Croft.

By and on May 11, 2024 | Comments
2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - start

The 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon getting underway. All photos courtesy of race.

The Transvulcania Ultramarathon is well-known for bringing in talented runners worldwide and being a highly competitive race. The 2024 edition was no different.

Early on the morning of Saturday, May 11, racers set off on their 72-kilometer (44.7 miles) journey, starting at the southern tip of La Palma island, one of the Canary Islands, at the lighthouse of El Faro de Fuencaliente. The race’s finish line is set on the island’s west side in the city of Los Llanos de Aridane. Racers had to use their strength as they accumulated around 14,000 feet (4,350 meters) of gain.

The course is as beautiful as it is challenging. Aside from the seemingly non-stop climbs to the course’s high point just after 50k and a 1,000-foot (320-meter) climb from the ocean to the finish, racers must somehow manage the nearly 8,000-foot (2,400 meters) descent from the high point to the ocean over the course of less than 11 miles (18k). Dominated by singletrack, the course tackles challenging terrain, including loose volcanic pumice and sharp lava rock.

Five years after attempting the Transvulcania Ultramarathon and coming in fourth place, Jon Albon finally found his way back to the island of La Palma. He claimed his crown, winning the 2024 edition. On the women’s side, Ruth Croft also found her way back to the island, in her case eight years had passed. She made up for the lost years and not only came away with the victory but also the women’s course record.

Read on for more of how the race played out.

Dakota Jones - Luis Alberto Hernando - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - high point

There were no fewer than 9 previous Transvulcania wins represented on the start line, including Dakota Jones (left, 2 wins) and Luis Alberto Hernando (right, 3 wins).

2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Men’s Race

The men’s race was one that wouldn’t be lost early, as at least 10 men rolled into the second aid station at Deseadas (17k) within 73 seconds of the lead. There was a distinct lead pack with Jeshurun Small and Dakota Jones of the U.S., Tom Evans and Jon Albon of the U.K, and Thibaut Baronian of France. Ben Stout (U.S.), Dimtry Mityaev (Andorra), Davide Cheraz (Italy), and Antoine Thiriat (France) were all within a minute of the lead.

Fourteen kilometers later, at El Reventón (31k), four of the five essentially remained in the lead pack, with only Jones dropping back to sixth while Stout moved up into fifth at 2.5 and 2 minutes off the lead, respectively. Technically, Baronian was 19 seconds off the lead trio of Albon, Small, and Evans. Cheraz, Ionel Manole (Romania, living in Spain), Mityaev, and Tobias Geiser (Italy) rounded out the top 10.

Fast forward to the high point at El Roque de los Muchachos (51k), and we finally started to see some gaps between the top men, even if that was mostly Albon pulling away from the rest of the leaders. Indeed, Albon hit el Roque with a 4.5-minute lead on Small and a 5.5-minute lead on Mityaev, while Baronian and Evans sat 6 minutes back.

Jon Albon - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - first man - high up on course

Jon Albon in the lead in La Palma’s high country.

From there, gaps quickly grew with Stout at 8.5 minutes, Manole at 18 minutes, and Manuel Anguita (Spain) at 19.5 minutes back in sixth through eighth as the only other runners within 20 minutes of the lead. Not long after El Reventón, Jones quickly fell behind the lead pack to eventually finish in 17th.

The colossal 8,000-foot, 11-mile descent down to the seaside town of Tazacorte saw two of the previous top five runners fall back, while three held their position or moved up. Albon hit the ocean with the same 4.5-minute lead he had an hour and a half earlier high atop the island. Ah, but Evans made up 90 seconds to move into second along with teammate Mityaev over the descent.

Dmitry Mityaev - Tom Evans - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - second and third man - barranco front 2

Dmitry Mityaev and Tom Evans running together in second late in the 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

At the same time, Small fell into fourth at 8.5 minutes off the lead. From there, there was a substantial gap back to the next runners with Manole, Stout, Pere Aurell (Spain), and Anguita all under 20 minutes off the lead. Baronian deployed his parachute on the descent and ended it in ninth, more than 30 minutes off the front.

As the men made their way into the city center of Los Llanos de Aridane, Jon Albon held on to win in 7:03:10.

Making up 2 minutes on Albon over the final 5k climb, teammates Dmitry Mityaev and Tom Evans finished hand in hand, tying in 7:05:16.

Although he lost some time on the descent, Jeshurun Small ran strong over the final kilometers to take fourth in 7:10:54. Ionel Manole threw down a furious final sprint to beat out Ben Stout and hold onto fifth by 11 seconds, with the pair finishing in 7:19:21 and 7:19:32, respectively.

Jeshurun Small - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - fourth man - start

Jeshurun Small (center) lined up at the start of the 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Men’s Results

  • 1. Jon Albon (U.K., lives in Norway) – 7:03:10
  • T-2. Dmitry Mityaev (Andorra) – 7:05:16
  • T-2. Tom Evans (U.K.) – 7:05:16
  • 4. Jeshurun Small (U.S.) – 7:10:54
  • 5. Ionel Manole (Romania, living in Spain) – 7:19:21
  • 6. Ben Stout (U.S.) – 7:19:32
  • 7. Manuel Anguita (Spain) – 7:20:24
  • 8. Pere Aurell (Spain) – 7:27:10
  • 9. Antoine Thiriat (France) – 7:39:41
  • 10. Tobias Geiser (Italy) – 7:39:47

Full results.

Ionel Cristian Manole - Ben Stout - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - fifth and sixth man - finish

Ionel Manole (left) and Ben Stout (right) congratulate one another after a sprint finish for fifth at the 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Women’s Race

Despite having a stacked field, the women’s race was dominated already in its early kilometers. By Deseadas (17k), Ruth Croft (New Zealand) had a 2.5-minute lead on Ida Nilsson (Sweden, lives in Norway), but Nilsson was, in turn, nearly 5 minutes in front of the rest of the women’s field.

Here, Azara García (Spain) and Ekaterina Mityaeva (Andorra) ran in third and fourth at 7 minutes off the lead with Marianne Hogan (Canada) and Hannah Allgood (U.S.) less than a minute back. Keely Henninger (U.S.), Sunmaya Budha (Nepal), Emilie Collomb (Italy), and Hillary Allen (U.S.) were the rest of the top 10 women at 9, 9.5, 10.5, and 13 minutes off the lead.

Ruth Croft - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - first woman - barranco

Ruth Croft running in the lead late in the 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

Croft continued to pull away from the field en route to El Reventón (31k), where she built a 4.5-minute lead on Nilsson. Budha held strong to move into third place at 12 minutes off the lead while the rest of the women’s field continued to fall off Croft’s furious pace. Hogan and García ran 13 and 14 minutes off the lead in fourth and fifth, respectively. While we don’t have a split for Mityaeva at El Reventón, she was sixth at the aid stations before and after that location.

And then Nilsson dropped the hammer with a tremendous surge to catch Croft before El Roque de los Muchachos at 51k. At the same time, the lead duo continued to build time on the rest of the women’s field. Budha continued to run in third at the high point at 15 minutes off the front. At the same time, Allgood had run her way up into fourth roughly 24 minutes off the front with Hogan holding onto fifth at 28 minutes off the lead.

Ruth Croft - Ida Nilsson - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - first and second woman - high point

Ida Nilsson (right) briefly leading Ruth Croft at the race’s high point.

For perspective on just how well Croft and Nilsson were running up front through 51k, the sixth through ninth women at 50k were Mityaeva, Katharina Hartmuth (Germany), García, and Henninger, all of whom have world-class ultrarunning resumes and yet ran from 32 to 47 minutes off the leaders.

Wow! Of Croft and Nilsson, it was Croft who had the downhill legs on the day. The Kiwi put 8 minutes on the Swede over the 8,000 feet and just over 90 minutes of descending to the ocean. Budha held her own on the descent, actually gaining a minute on Croft, but still sitting in third 14 minutes off the lead. At that point, the women’s podium seemed set with just 5k to go.

Still, only 6 minutes separated the women in fourth through sixth. Mityaeva had made up ground on the descent to move into fourth at 34 minutes off the front. Allgood and Hogan raced in fifth and sixth, at 2 and 6 minutes behind Mityaeva.

Ruth Croft continued her phenomenal run to the finish, coming across the line in a women’s course record time of 8:02:49, lowering Ida Nilsson’s time of 8:04:16 from 2017.

Ida Nilsson rolled into the finish to take second in 8:16:32.

Sunmaya Budha continued to close in on Nilsson, but ultimately finished in third in 8:20:31.

Ekaterina Mityaeva held onto fourth in 8:40:59, while Hannah Allgood finished in fifth in 8:43:23.

Sunmaya Budha - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - third woman - barranco

Sunmaya Budha running in third late in the 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Women’s Results

  1. Ruth Croft (New Zealand) – 8:02:49
  2. Ida Nilsson (Sweden, lives in Norway) – 8:16:32
  3. Sunmaya Budha (Nepal) – 8:20:31
  4. Ekaterina Mityaeva (Andorra) – 8:40:59
  5. Hannah Allgood (U.S.) – 8:43:23
  6. Marianne Hogan (Canada) – 8:51:09
  7. Katharina Hartmuth (Germany) – 8:57:34
  8. Azara García (Spain) – 9:14:48
  9. Marina Cugnetto (Italy) – 9:18:57
  10. Keely Henninger (U.S.) – 9:23:44

Full results.

Ruth Croft - 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon - first woman - finish

Ruth Croft celebrating her win at the 2024 Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

Amber Nelson

Amber Nelson is a writer, trail and obstacle course runner, and lover of travel and new experiences. She’s been writing about all things health and fitness for about three years and especially loves writing about about anything running related. Running changed Amber’s life when she stumbled into it after a 100 pound weight loss. In her free time you can find her planning upcoming travel, listening to an audio book while running in the foothills of Boise, Idaho, or slowly chipping away at her PhD in social psychology.

Amber Nelson

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.