Ehunmilak 2017: Basque Hundred Miles go to Javi Domínguez and Silvia Trigueros. Race reports 168k-88k-42k, videos and photos

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Ehunmilak means hundred miles in Basque. This year´s Ehunmilak 2017 marked the eighth edition of the Basque Hundred Miles which covers 168k/D+11.000m all over Goierri, the Basque highlands. Two main summits dominate the race, Txindoki and Aizkorri, while 1.200 trail runners enjoy three races  (42k-88k-168k) moving on through two different natural parks supported by 1.500 volunteers.

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This 2017 edition saw a new course record by Javi Domínguez at the hundred miles, achieving his fourth victory here. Female winner Silvia Trigueros is also a race veteran, with six victories at Beasaín now. Three times for the hundred miles and three more at the 88km race. Read on for full race report on 168k-88k-42k, videos and photos of the event.

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Read all info on Ehunmilak in spanish here at Carrerasdemontana.com

 

Ehunmilak 2017: Crowds cheer on every runner. Photo: Mayayo.

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EHUNMILAK 2017: THE BASQUE HUNDRED MILES GO TO JAVI DOMINGUEZ AND SILVIA TRIGUEROS

 

Ehunmilak 2017 has been a record edition by all accounts. Popular demand soared as two of its three events sold out months in advance of race day: the Marimurumendi Marathon (42km) and the Goierriko 2 Haundiak (88km). In addition, the 409 entries registered on Ehunmilak Ultra-Trail 168km also set a new high for the hundred Basque miles, whose technical terrain and D+11.000m climb make it even more demanding to complete than the renowned Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc de Chamonix. All in all, there have been 1,200 runners present, from 17 countries.Each and evey one of them have enjoyed an incredible display of affection and means at their disposal, provided by 1,500 volunteers.

Ehunmilak 2017: Volunteeers at Larraitz over G2H-88km course. Photo Mayayo.

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Ehunmilak, three great mountain races for a unique mountain passion at the Basque Highlands.

At the goal of this eighth Ehunmilak, the veteran riders of the event agreed to highlight the unstoppable growth of the event, both in numbers and attention to every detail that can make this experience an indelible memory for each ridge. The constant support of the volunteers and the enthusiasm of all of Gipuzkoa, overturned along the hundred-mile race, along with the beauty and hardness of the tour through the green forests and valleys of the Goierri, as well as its iconic peaks of Tindoki and Azikorri , Make this a unique race in the world, according to the platoon that every year returns to its appointment with the same and drags more and more debutantes that discover this land for the first time and with them their traditions, music, gastronomy and a passion Unique for the mountain.

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Ehunmilak Ultra Trail is with 168km/D+11.000m. The basque hundred miles, a unique race.

The Basque hundred miles have now completed its eigth edition setting a new benchmark as an ultra Trail global reference. They serve both as UTMB (6 points) and HardRock qualifier but much more important, they provide a unique experience to every runner, blending in a most rigourous mountain challenge with the charm of crowning the summits of Txindoki and Aizkorri mountains while enjoying at all times an incredible display of support and affection by the basque fans who stay up in the mountains all way up, come hell or high wáter to ensure runners feel support and appreciation all the way to the finish line.

 

This year edition took off under a heat wave that lashed the Goierri and fired thermometers up to 37ºC in Beasaín by the start of the race, at 18 hours. Fortunately, the sky covered and the night brought us a temperature drop accompanied by fog and “txirimiri” rain drizzle that besides relieving the pelotón offered a charm ofi t own when running through the rolling green hills, thick forests and steep ridges that mark the course through the natural Parks of Aralar first and then Aizkorri-Aratz.

 

 

 

This eighth edition has seen again success for two of its greatest enthusiasts: Javi Domínguez from team Vibram and Silvia Trigueros from Land. Both claimed victory in 2017 just as they did in 2016, but had to strive dearly for it. For Javier it was his fourth “txapela”, the basque beret that honors champions at Beasaín, where he also set this year a new course record with 22h22m, a major step versus the 22:59 that Imanol Aleson had set previously. In the start, he confirmed his record-setting goal and relied also on poles for the first time yet. However, the first checkpoint saw a surprising leader com through with Jon Aizpuru, the third man in 2016 who would go on to be his great rival throughout this 2017 race.

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Jon demonstrated a a great progression, running face to face with the great dominator of Ehunmilak, both offering their maximum performances to date while pushing themselves below record times. A small mistake by Javi in the night fog set Jon to lead again in Tolosa after 77km. Javi managed again to regain first position but differences were still below ten minutes as we entered the last third of the race. It was not until the second iconic ascent of the race, running to the summit of Aizkorri peak among the heavy mist covered the limestone crest that he finally put on a significant gap and was able to look upon victory with confidence.

Javi Domínguez climbs among the mists at Aizkorri. Photo Peter Aylward

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Javier chose to strive up to his best till  the end, in order to set a new record, and finally Javier Domínguez Ledo crossed the line in just 22h22s, dedicating his fourth victory and course record to the memory of Alberto Zerain, mountaineer recently deceased in Himalaya while climbing at Nanga Parbat. Behind him came a satisfied Jon Aizpuru with 23:14. Third place went to another great veteran of Ehunmilak, Felipe Artigue, who knew how to run his own race from beginning to end, finishing in 23h53m

Javier Dominguez winner Ehunmilak Ultra trail 2017. Photo: Mayayo

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In the women’s race, we saw the second edition of the great duel from 2016 between the Polish Ewa Majer from Salomon-Suunto and Silvia Trigueros from Land who had already won here five times, two in the hundred miles and another three for the 88km of G2H. Once again, as in 2016, Ewa Majer came out in full force, placing himself on the lead right from the start. Meanwhile, Silvia Trigueros was following her at a short distance, until at the Tolosa checkpoint on km77 both arrived within a few seconds. After their departure, the race would be resolved as Silvia maintained her rhythm to keep on eating up miles, while Ewa suffered stomach problems that first relegated her to second place and then forced her abandonment.

 

Silvia Trigueros winner Ehunmilak 2017. Photo: mayayo

 

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Silvia was then fully on her own for the whole second half of the race alone and went on to broaden her advantage all the way to Beasain’s finish line for her third win in this 168km with a 28h45 mark. Veteran Elena Calvillo was second with 29h55, while Jone Urkizu closed the women’s podium with 32h43, thus completing the fastest trio in the history of the race.

 

Goierriko 2 Haundiak, a great ultra that summits Txindoki and Aizkorri in 88km/D+6.000m.

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The most popular race of the event, this year had its current champion Dani Aguirre start out as the great favorite, aiming for the first ever sub10h time. Vs his 10h09m record from 2016. To that end, he made sure to arrive in magnificent form the same, while in the female field we had a more open race, whith 2016 bronze Aitziber Osinalde favored in most forecasts. The pelotón took off at 23h from a Beasaín packed with fans and enthusiasts, with two key summits ahead of them, Txindoki and Aizkorri along the profile shown below.

 

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Thus, Dani Aguirre from Land team, set a demanding rhythm from the start. The gap he opened, however, was never too large. It was barely 2 minutes after the first 20km when around 1AM he parted the crowds formed by thousands of fans cheering under the rain at the tiny mountain village of Larraitz, in one of the most emotional moments of the course for any of its runners.

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After him came a veteran Mikel Etxeberria who put on a great race, always keeping Dani on a short leash ahead, not allowing him to relax the least. Miles passed on relentlessly for both until the last checkpoint at Mutiloa, barely 6km from the finish line saw 15 minutes between them. It was only after that reference that Mikel finally let go a bit he and allowed the champion to broaden his final advantage. Dani Aguirre come in as champion for the second time, although his final time of 10h17 failed to beat his own 2016 record of 10:09. Mikel Etxeberría scored a brilliant 10h38 coming on second. After them, the third man at the podium was Gorka de la Horra in 10h54

Dani Aguirre and Mikel Etxeberría came in first and second  G2H-88k.Photo Mayayo

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At the women´s race we did have different race leaders as the event progressed. In the first kilometers it was Monica Grajera ahead, with Oihane Pérez and Aitziber Osinalde in her pursuit. Nevertheless, the passage of the hours allowed the consistency of Aitziber to put her ahead, from where she would not let go until getting back to Beasaín with a final mark of 13h02m, bettering her third place mark from the previous year by 53 minutes. After her, Monica entered second with 13h16 while the bronze was for Mayi Mujika in 13h54.

Aitziber Osinalde wins the G2H-88k. Photo Mayayo

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Marimurumendi, a gorgeous mountain marathon on green rolling hills for 42km/D+2.300m.

This beautiful marathon reached its third edition as a sold out event from long months ago. The Polish Bartoscz Gorzcyka was the reference at the start, despite having dedicated the previous day and night to support his partner Ewa in the hundred miles. As soon as the race was launched, the Salomon-Suunto runner was already in the lead, setting a pace that no one in the pelotón was able to best at anytime.
Bartoscz Gorczyca crossed the finish line in 3h39 as champion, but could not beat the 3h32 record set by local runner Aritz Egea back in 2016. Two young Catalan runners followed him to complete the podium, first an exhausted Aleix Bautista, who took 3h40 besting his mate Ruben Hernandez with 3h41.

Marimurumendi marathon male podium. Photo: Mayayo

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The female marathon had also a Catalan runner upfront with Ester Casajuana from Raidlight as its great dominator, marking a time of 4h27, very much ahead of Oihana Arratzibel who was second with 4h38, and third was Amaiur Iglesias with 4h43.

 

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EHUNMILAK 2017: PHOTOGALLERY BY MAYAYO. 

 

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MORE ON TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN 

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain

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