Last weekend, 4-6th of March, the 5th edition of the Sierra Bandoleros Ultra-Trail took place. This is not a regular race, event, trail. It’s nothing compared to anything that the regular trail runners have experienced.

At the start line, “the Bandoleros”.

This year there were over 400 participants departing from Prado del Rey at 6pm on Friday back to Prado del Rey before 10am on Sunday, with 155km of distance and over 10.000 m of accumulated climb.

There were many member of the RaceSplitter-sponsored team Alpino Benalmádena-irontriath, who participated in this event.

The profile of the course.

I have been running for 20 years, mountain races and ultras for the last 10 years, and I have to say that this event, in which I participated in 2012, in the first edition, is the most demanding activity that I had taken part in.

There is no perfect way to prepare for it because to complete it, one needs physical fitness, discipline, desire, patience, perseverance, determination, resilience, strength, and an endless list of attributes that go unnoticed to most of the observers.

When a race finishes, everyone talks about the winners, the ones who ran faster. The first people crossing the finish line, undoubtedly, have a lot of merit, endless training hours, incredible fitness…but many of them have mentioned in the past that they would not have the metal strength to be “out there” for 20 more hours. All participants admire each other, ones for being physically strong and the other for being mentally strong.

Anyway, I can tell you that participating in such event for 38 hours has been one of the best rides that I remember in my life and I completely understand why people engage themselves in these kind of events.

Congratulations to all the participants!

The winner this year, who finished in under 20 hours!

This is me, in 2012, after 38 hours!

The feeling after crossing the finish line is unbelievable, and not much different between the first and last people. One that remains as a wonderful experience :-).