• Lanzarote cycling tour
  • Lanzarote cycling tour

Oihana Kortazar goes up and down the Aneto in 4:40:42

4h40'42 ”It is the time it took Oihana Kortazar to travel the 37,9 kilometers and overcome the more than 2.300 meters of positive elevation gain to ascend and descend the Aneto (3.404 meters) from Benasque.

He beat in almost 22 minutes the best time he set in 1998 Emma rock (5h02'31”) in the Aneto X-Treme Marathon

The Basque athlete from the Salomon team followed the route of Vallibierna and Ibones de Coronas, the same route that the Catalan Emma Roca traveled in 1998 in the Aneto X-Treme Marathon.

23 years after the feat achieved by Roca, who passed away last June, Kortazar faced the challenge with the aim of paying tribute to the pioneers of mountain racing.

To make it happen, he counted on the logistical collaboration of Salomon and the advice of Teresa Roca, winner in 1999 of the Aneto X-Treme Marathon and holder of the best ascent time of the Aneto achieved in the edition in which Emma took the race.

"The challenge of ascent and descent had been in force for about twenty years, when Emma Roca and Teresa Roca did it.

What I wanted, in addition to trying to beat their time, was to pay tribute to the two of them, especially to Emma, ​​who is no longer with us and deserves it ", Kortazar explained

Challenge data

These are the race data


Video of the ascent and descent to Aneto

You can relive the challenge in the following link

Career Chronicle

Oihana began his adventure at 5:45 am in the Plaza Mayor of Benasque, the starting and ending point of the route. The tactic was clear: give the maximum on the ascent to compensate for the setbacks of a technical descent.

At the end of the 90s, when Emma Roca and Teresa Roca set the reference times for the route, there was more snow on the glacier and this allowed the descent to be faster. In addition, the Salomon team athlete was aware that technical descents with many granite blocks were where she could lose the most time, as well as completing a demanding course, with little marking.

Thus, it was squeezed to the maximum in the first 18 kilometers, traveling the unevenness of 2.300 meters to the top of the Aneto with a mark of 2 hours and 46 minutes, being 24 minutes faster than the ascent time recorded by Teresa Roca in 1998.

A comfortable margin to face the descent with ease to the Refugio de Los Pescadores. It was then that Oihana got back on the track and returned to print one more march to set the new best female time of ascent and descent of the Aneto at 4h40'42 ”. About 22 minutes of difference with respect to the best chronometer that for 23 years had a trail running benchmark like Emma Roca.

To complete the route, Oihana did it lightly. He used the Ultra Glide shoe, a model of only 260 grams developed to be used in long distances, whether in dry, hard or slippery wet areas. Also, he used mini crampons to tour the glacier.

During the challenge, Oihana followed a diet and hydration plan similar to the one she applies on a race day. He had breakfast three hours before starting the challenge (2:45 hours) and half an hour before the start he took an energy gel, something that he would repeat every 45 minutes during the ascent and descent route.

De Benasque left with water in his backpack and a 500 ml Soft Flask with an isotonic drink. Once he reached the Refugio de Los Pescadores, he carried two more drums to make the final ascent to Aneto and the first section of descent. Back in Pescadores, he left the backpack to run the last section of the track more lightly with a single Soft Flask of water.

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