2012 Race Review

Overall Men’s Champion: Timo Meyer (20:03:20)

Overall Women’s Champion: Jenni de Groot (28:24:35)

Team: SCT (DK) Susanne Hastrup, Casper Nielsen, and Torsten Østergaard (88:01:54)

The winner of the Al Andalus Ultimate Trail 2012 was Timo Meyer, who completed the 230km race in 20:03:20 – 21 minutes ahead of second place overall Argyrios Papathanasopoulos, who ran an amazing 20:24:40. In 3rd place overall, by less than 13 minutes, was Victor Garanto Fajó at 20:37:27. Overall Female winner was Jenni de Groot at 28:24:35. Team SCT of Denmark (Susanne Hastrup, Casper Nielsen, and Torsten Østergaard) won the team section of the race.

Congratulations to all who entered, especially to Timo who ran a flawless race – we hope to see you all again in 2013!

Competitors comments

WINNER of Al Andalus Ultimate Trail 2012 (5-stages, 230km, over 7000m climb, in crazy heat) Yay!!! It was an amazing experience.. extremely well organized, great competition until the last stage!!! I met amazing people, ran on extremely beautiful trails.. congratulations to all finishers, we all went through the same tough challenge and I was impressed by your determination. Argi, Tommy & Victor thank you for pushing me constantly, you guys are insane ;)  —Timo Meyer (JPN/DE), 1st Overall

This was an experience totally beyond anything I could have imagined. It was a privilege to spend a week with such an amazing group of people from all over the world, as runners of all levels showed incredible displays of bullet proof mentality and solidarity. The fastest runners were inspirational and truly humbling in their generosity to each other and to the group, not to mention their extraordinary athletic prowess. A HUGE thank you to the organisers and volunteers who all worked relentlessly and selflessly to make this the best experience it could possibly be. If you want to see humanity at its best as a group of passionate people all help each other through an amazing life adventure then it just doesn’t get any better than this.  — Tarique Shakir-Khalil (GBR/FRA)

Cuarta edición del Al Andalus Ultimate Trail y segunda participación mía. Sin duda, este año sabiendo lo que me esperaba por delante, supe sacarle mayor partido tanto competitivamente como personalmente. El grupo de corredores más reducido que en la pasada edición hizo que el vínculo entre participantes fuera mayor. De hecho en el grupo cabecero en que cuatro optábamos al podio, reinaba el buen ambiente. Sin duda, otra experiencia inolvidable que supe exprimir al máximo para quedar con un buen sabor de boca, 3er puesto en la clasificación, aparte. Gracias tanto a los organizadores, voluntarios, médicos, … por hacer esta aventura posible. Carrera muy a tener en cuenta.

Fourth edition of Al Andalus Ultimate Trail and my second participation. Without doubt, this year knowing what to expect ahead, I knew how to get more out competitively and personally. The smaller group of runners in this edition made the link and companionship between participants stronger. In fact, in the leading group in which four of us “fighted” for the podium, there was a good atmosphere. Another unforgettable experience which I’ll never forget, despite my 3rd place overall. Thanks so much to the organizers, volunteers, doctors, … for making this adventure possible. Race to consider in further editions. — Victor Garanto Fajó (ESP), 3rd Overall

5 days and 230km later – bruised, battered, toenail-less, chaffing, swollen feet, excruciating blisters, fatigued, BUT we did it and had a blast doing so. I made some awesome friends, saw stunning landscapes, and had a great time. I met great people with exceptional running profiles, and it was a tough one. — Linda Dabley (AUS/JPN)

I only come because I love the race so much, and this year was just as great as previous years. The checkpoint stars were as friendly and eager to please and assist as always – without them it just wouldn’t be the same. God-willing, I will be back next year to go for top 10!!!! — Paul Mott (GBR), 3rd time participant

I was more than doubtful about this all, mainly because of the heat, but the pleasure of the physical effort, the gathered experience, and the friendships & camaraderie was worth every drop of sweat I lost. Running together under a killing sun, living together during the week, and having tons of fun is what you do it all for. The organization was simply perfect: professional & attentional. This kind of experience makes you a better person in the end. —Fred Coppens (BEL)

I just wanted to say thank you! For me it has been a life changing event from volunteering in 2009 to finishing the race this year in 2012. There truly is now a worldwide Al Andalus family and no reason why in 2013 the race shouldn’t be full! You deserve the praise, well done again for holding it all together. — Chris Goodacre (ESP/GBR) 

The generosity and camaraderie of support staff, fellow competitors, and local authorities has restored a bit of this old, cynical soul’s faith in people. For those who want competition, camaraderie, challenge, and adventure, this race has it all. Cheers! — Orla Kastberg (USA)

This was the hardest and most rewarding thing Gareth’s ever done in his life, with personal records broken every day. He’ll be back next year to prove life begins at 60!! Thanks to your amazing team. — Claire Stride (NZ)

I think I might be slightly mad to do it 4 years in a row, but there is obviously something about this race that keeps me coming back.Paula Green (GBR), only runner in the world to complete all 4 years of AAUT