ULTRA TRAIL BARCELONA - REUNITING OUR INTERNATIONAL TRAIL TEAM
It was just like the first day of school for several of our Compressport International Trail Running Team who took to the start of Ultra Trail Barcelona on Saturday the 8th of May.
The excitement, nerves and enthusiasm to relive those racing sensations were ever present amongst the group in the lead up to race day. Over a year has passed without any racing and even longer where as a team we could join together at a starting line. This weekend we finally got the chance thanks to the organisation of Ultra Trail Barcelona in Sant Llorenç de Morunys in the heart of Vall de Lord.
Additionally, the days prior to the race, the six athletes from France, Switzerland and Portugal spent time together in the region of Bergueda where they took part in photoshootings, product and social media workshops, enjoyed massages, good food and overall fun times together again.
Upon arrival, all present were subject to COVID testing, ensuring the safest possible measures were in place for the proceeding days spent together.
Day 1 included a morning of photoshootings followed by a social media workshop and a well earned massage ahead of the race. The team was also treated to some local cuisine courtesy of our in house caterer.
On Day 2, we commenced the day with a short pre-race run before departing for final COVID tests to ensure athletes were able to safely take their flights home after the race. The afternoon was spent with a workshop to discuss products and brainstorm future developments. Before the athletes then took some rest and prepared their materials for the race. It was an early dinner and conclusion to the day to rest the mind and body ahead of the big day to follow...
Day 3 was race day! After a very early 5am start, we took the 40 minute drive to the start where at 7hr local time, the runners took to the line of the Ultra Race.
Taking part in the 80km race that ascended 3 peaks over 2,300metres altitude for a total of 5,000mD+ were Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz, Gregoire Curmer, Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon, Kathrin Götz, Jérémie Marin and Pierre Gapihan. While Portugal´s Helio Fumo took to the start of the 56km Marathon distance.
In unexpectedly hot conditions amidst a very technically demanding course, all runners were not alone feeling the effects as the temperatures soared even in the highest parts of the race.
In the men's race, Dunand-Pallaz was joined by his Spanish compatriots, Pere Aurell and Pablo Villa, who had gone head to head just two months prior in Transgrancanaria. This time the Frenchman seemed to have the upper hand, running very strong in the lead through the middle part of the race, with over a 10 minute gap to Pere Aurell. However as he later commented, the dehydration and lack of salts began to quickly slow him down and by the last checkpoint with just 7km to the final, Aurell was only 2 minutes behind. Unfortunately the cramps became too much and Aurell overtook him in the final kilometres.
Nonetheless another incredible performance by Dunand-Pallaz who is having a tremendous year and making the most of every opportunity.
After beautiful days spent with the Compressport team, we concluded on the Spanish trails a very nice fight. It's been over 2 months since my first goal of the year in Transgrancanaria. The recovery was good and I was able to get back to training gradually.
In the women's race, Switzerland´s Kathrin Götz showed her true grit and determination. Despite losing the track on 3 occasions early in the race and then later suffering with the heat and ongoing asthma difficulties, she never stopped to fight. The whole time maintaining the short gap to the strong Dutchwoman Ragan Debats. Finishing with 2nd place, it might not have been the result she wanted, but what a great return to racing!!
Also in their first races of the season, Grégoire Curmer and Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon ran a good part of the race together, fighting in the heat, cooling themselves at every small patch of snow whenever they came across it. Eventually Curmer finished in 6th and Joyeux-Bouillon came across in 9th.
It was also a great performance by Pierre Gapihan who rounded out the top 15 positions
Unfortunately for Jeremie Marin and Helio Fumo (taking part in the marathon), both were unable to finish. But with some good rest and recovery, they will be back to fight again soon.
We cannot be more proud and satisfied with these days spent together and racing again. The start of what will be a great year. We look forward to more of these moments and fun times together soon.
"After beautiful days spent with the Compressport team, we concluded on the Spanish trails a very nice fight. It's been over 2 months since my first goal of the year in Transgrancanaria. The recovery was good and I was able to get back to training gradually. The initial idea was to participate in mid April, but with races being moved to later in the year, I looked for another race in a long enough format; hence my participation in this race in the north of Catalan capital.
The 3 days pre-race was perfect, with almost all the team runners. We share great moments together: photoshoots, relaxation time, product developments and last little jogs...
Indeed the 2nd place result of the race, leaves a taste of unfinished business after leading almost the entire race. But I can only blame myself: having forgotten my salty food and misjudging the heat of the day. I should have integrated way more salts and minerals…. You always learn from your mistakes!
A big thank you to the Compressport group for these exceptional few days"
"I was very happy to be able to participate in this race and in addition with all the Compressport teammates. I really enjoyed this time in Spain, sharing beautiful moments with the team before the race too!
Overall I felt good in the race, despite big hydration issues with the overwhelming heat. It was a great start to the season and now I will look forward to the next race that will suit me better. I really didn't expect such a technical terrain here, but now I will take the time to recover well and go again."
"It was almost like Christmas! My last Ultra was last August and I missed the racing sensations so much and also to run for such a long distance. What an epic race it was too! I finished with a top 10 that I am happy for, considering the long time without racing and the Indian like Summer, with extreme heat. I suffered a lot with cramps and the terrain was very technical but I shared a lot of nice time running during the race with Gregoire...where we discussed what our next meal would be after the race.
It was a lovely opportunity to see all of the Compressport team again in which there was a great atmosphere, relaxed but professional. The days before the race were busy but I always have a good time with my Compressport friends"
"Starting the season with an Ultra Trail like this was tough. I wasn‘t really ready for this kind of technical race with steep ascents and descents like I‘ve never run (or hiked :) before. The legs wanted to stop after 50km, my lungs burning and my head exploding from the burning sun - I really wasn't used to yet after a long winter in Switzerland. After walking home the last 30km, I didnñt have the happiest of face at the finish line, just fighting to get some oxygen in my lungs. So I cannot say I was satisfied with my race, but more than ever I am happy to be back racing and ready to improve for the next one.
What mattered most to me was being able to join my Compressport Team again. I enjoyed it so much with them these days."
"I was so happy to be able to be with my team again at this team gathering in Barcelona. Some lovely days spent together, doing photoshoots, enjoying good food, massages and always lots of laughs. I have missed these times…
Running again is almost like being able to breathe again and I hope that everything will return to normal quickly. Although the race didn't go exactly to plan for me, it was a joy to be back on the starting line with my Compressport Teammates and Friends. "
In true Compressport style, we’re always looking ahead. New technologies, new materials, new shapes... The 2021 limited edition collection aims to help you reach and support your goals and ambitions wherever you race, whatever your sport.