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Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls

18-May-2018 Ciutadella, Menorca, Spain

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1 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
185KM / 115Miles
1 Day

Alternate Distances: 100KM/62M 85KM/53M 55KM/34M 37KM/23M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

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Trail de Menorca Camí de Cavalls

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls

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Fish Out of Water

12:05 26-06-18

This is a truly epic event….but also brutal!! The island of Menorca is stunning, and having been on holiday there last year, the opportunity to do a ‘lap’ of the island was a challenge that I couldn’t turn down and so brought me back. The Cami de Cavalls is an ancient path which is incredibly well marked with posts and arrows throughout. It is largely a coastal path, and maybe for only about 15% of the race are you out of sight of the sea. A full circuit of the island is 185km (115 miles), and includes 2,863m of ascent (although my Garmin said 3,665m!), though shorter race options were available. Staring in the ancient town of Ciutadella on the west coast of the island, I opted for the 2.30pm start giving me 34 hours to complete a clockwise circuit of the island. The race is pitched at being unsupported, so absolutely no crews or outside help to be accepted. This didn’t really matter as there were about 14 well stocked aid stations offering a range of food and drinks (including hot food at 3 points), plus you had access to a drop bag at 100km.

The northern coastline is stunning. Undulating, rocky, red sand, lush forest, and as I started to discover also quite attritional. In parts it was like playing hopscotch whilst trying not to trip over some razor sharp rocks. After about 55k, it was head torches out and running through the night. For me this was probably the most enjoyable part of the race….the temperature had dropped, it was a beautiful evening with clear skies full of stars, and simply following the reflective glow of route markings it was a really enjoyable adventure, also with minimal other runners around.

At 95km I entered the port of Mahon, the capital of the island on the east coast, passing superyachts and locals falling out of bars at 5 in the morning. What a contrast to what I was doing, though mentally I was now over half way and physically felt ok. I entered the aid station at 100km, took down some food and changed my socks. It was here I noticed a problem. What I thought were nothing more than small hot spots, were actually some pretty bad looking blisters. I got them patched up and soldiered on, motivated by a beautiful sunrise over the sea.

The southern island coastline is absolutely incredible, still undulating, but numerous enticing coves, sandy beaches, crystal blue sea….real picture postcard stuff. Some of them only accessible by path, so were it not for being ‘mid run’ I would have loved nothing more than to stop and enjoy these largely empty idyllic places all to myself. However, for me after 110km my feet were absolutely screaming at me…they were well and truly ‘gone’. I was faced with the very real scenario of tapping out, or shuffling my way to the finish. I chose the latter, thinking that this wouldn’t kill me, and the disappointment of not finishing at all, would be greater than not finishing as quick as I originally hoped. Motivated by nothing more than getting the finish, whilst trying to savour the stunning surroundings, the last 40 miles were without a doubt the hardest thing mentally I’ve ever done.

The course definitely broke me, but didn’t beat me, and I finally stumbled across the finish line after 33 hours 8 minutes. Never have I appreciated a ‘finisher’ t-shirt more!! All round the organisation, support, route marking, aid stations and volunteers were fantastic. There is so much passion for the event, and especially the beauty of the island, it is definitely an adventure I would recommend to anyone with a love of coastal trail runs…….(although watch your feet!!)

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