The triathlete from La Mancha Alba Reguillo And the madrileño Diego Mentrida winners have been proclaimed in the absolute category of a new edition, the thirteenth, of the Doñana Challenge
The test was held today in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz), with a route of 80 kilometers in the cycling segment, 1,4 km. of swimming at the mouth of the Guadalquivir and 20 kilometers of running on the beach of the shore of Doñana.
A total of 300 triathletes started on Bajo Guía Avenue at 12.00:XNUMX to officially start the race once the section neutralized by Sanlúcar had finished.
A segment in which there were slight attempts to escape, such as the one starred by the duathlon world champion and three-time winner of the event, Emilio Martín from Huelva, but they were not fruitful, and practically all the triathletes entered Sanlúcar together, in T1.
There Diego Méntrida already entered first position, who still reached T2 after swimming across the mouth of the Guadalquivir in fifth position.
But a few kilometers after starting to run, he was already in first position, which he maintained until the end, to cross the finish line in first place, with a time of 3:20:50.
In second position, Ignacio Cabrera, also from Madrid, entered the finish line with a time of 3:22:49. And third was Alejandro Cañas from Malaga, with a time of 3:25:26.
The Madrid triathlete showed his satisfaction upon entering the finish line and highlighted that the experience “It has been unique, different from what I expected, and totally recommended. I will try to make a hole in my 2023 calendar and repeat, because it is very worth living in this environment and visiting a place like this”.
Méntrida, who made his debut in the test, has a very emotional story, for which he is well known and which went viral in September 2000, when in a triathlon in Santander, when he was fourth, about to reach the finish line, the triathlete who was in third position took the wrong route and Diego waited for him and let him enter ahead of him.
That gesture came at the hands of an actor like Will Smith, who shared the video of the moment, and was also rewarded by the UN, for the detail he made.
On the other hand, in the female absolute category, the happiness of the winner was absolute, an Alba Reguillo who has become the winner of the Doñana Challenge for the third time.
The woman from La Mancha, who was very satisfied with the cycling part of the race, entered the race on foot and, in a spectacular comeback, especially due to the time that distanced her from the first at that time, the Sevillian Marina Caraballo, and for going in sixth position. In fact, she was not aware of her victory until she saw the ribbon placed on the finish line as she crossed it.
Reguillo made a time of 3:48:08 and pointed out that for her “this test is very special, the people of the organization are already my family, because of the treatment they have had with me since the first time I set foot on this blessed land that is Andalusia. That's why I'm so happy".
Patricia Bueno, from Malaga, finished in second place with a time of 3:49:09. Bueno had a very regular race in all segments.
And third at the finish line was the very young Sevillian Marina Caraballo, who seemed to be going to win the race, but in the end they caught her two kilometers from the finish line, but even so she was very happy in her first participation in the Desafío Doñana, with only 20 years.
The good weather throughout the day meant that a large audience followed the competition live, both at the start and in the different transitions, as well as around the finish line on Malandar beach, cheering at all times to athletes. Especially crowded was the exit of the test.
The thirteenth edition of the Doñana Challenge has been organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports of the Junta de Andalucía, through the Public Company for the Management of Tourism and Sports of Andalusia, with the technical support of the Andalusian Federation of Triathlon, and the collaboration of the municipalities of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Jerez de la Frontera and Trebujena and the Doñana Natural Area.