The first Al Andalus Ultra Trail has completed in Andalucia, Spain. Over 50 competitors battled through scorching temperatures up to 45C, and some tough climbing. There has been excellent reviews from all involved, saying the organisation was superby and very competitor-centric. Some reviews have been uploaded onto the events listing on the main website. Just click on Main Map, click on Europe, then choose Al Andalus Ultra Trail from Spain and click on either Review. Many competitors found it very tough indeed, with 21 of the original 55 runners failing to complete 1 or more stages (most sucumbing to the heat), though most of them took part in later stages, unranked. One high profile casualty was Widy Grego, winner of the Jungle Marathon, and high-placed finisher in many multi day ultras. Sounds like he gave it too much on what was a very difficult day 1 and had to retire from day 2. He did continue unranked for the rest of the week.
Overall winner was Raul Morales Lopez from team Taureg Raid Extreme. He finished in 21hrs 40 minutes, an hour and 13 minutes ahead of second place Mark Woolley. 3 minutes behind Mark was Paul Hewitson. Both Mark and Paul from for Team Axarsport.
First lady and overall 8th position was well known ultra athlete Mimi Anderson, who finished in 26hours 58 mins, with Catherine Dubois in 29hrs 27mins placed as second lady and 12th overall.
In other news this week, a recent small-scale study has shown that Beetroot juice powered endurance athletes for 16% longer. The article which was published in the small Journal of Applied Physiology study, from UK’s Exter University found nitrate contained in the vegetable leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake – making exercise less tiring. It goes on to suggests the effect is greater than that which can be achieved by regular training. Athletes were given 500ml per day of organic beetroot juice for six consecutive days before completing a series of tests, involving cycling on an exercise bike, whilst others were given a placebo. Those that had the beetroot were able to cycle for 16% longer.
So, it might be worth adding some beetroot juice to our diets, for those that can stand the taste that is.
That’s all for now, enjoy your running this weekend.