Gran Trail Picos de Europa: heat, landscapes, rescues and timingsense technology

The Picos de Europa National Park runs through an infinite number of uniquely beautiful places such as the Río Casaño, La Molina or the Lago Covadonga. In this magnificent scenario takes place the Grand Trail Picos de Europa which on the 22nd of June celebrated its second edition timed by 321Go with timingsense technology.

The races which start and finish in the Asturian town of Benia de Onís have 4 modalities: ultra trail of 70 kilometres and 5,300 metres of positive slope, a trail of 35 kilometres and 2,200 metres of slope; another trail of 22 kilometres and 1,300 metres of slope; and a speed trail of 10 kilometres and 500 metres of slope. In the first edition there was a 50 kilometre modality but in this second edition it has been replaced by the 70 kilometre Ultra Trail.

In this edition the heat stole the protagonism to the landscapes. The high temperatures alerted more than 1,500 participants. These conditions did, however, allow the ascent to the Jultayu (1,940 m), unlike the previous year when snow made it impossible to reach this mountain peak.

To the long distances and the positive slopes of these races we can add the factor of semi-sufficiency: each participant must supply himself with the amount of food, drinks, salts and complements that he considers necessary to be able to complete the course, for example a minimum of one litre of obligatory water per participant is established. The organization also has food and water points as support. With the exception of the Speed Trail, the other modalities have a time limit in the finish lines of each race: 18.5 hours for the Ultra Trail, 9 hours for the Trail 35 Km and 6 hours for the Trail 22 Km.

In the ultra trail race, Pablo Baisón won for the second consecutive year with a time of 9 hours, 11 minutes and 51 seconds. In the women’s category, Sara Pérez Sánchez took first place in the ultra while in the couples category, the winners were Jonathan and Fernando Tejada Ocejo.

550,000 € of economical impact for the Council of Onís.

The company 321Go has performed a study to value the economic impact of organizing this type of event. In the survey the participants were asked about their procedence, transport used, accommodation, number of companions and average expenditure per person.

The data collected show that the Gran Trail Picos de Europa has attracted more than 5,790 people, 76% of whom were from outside Asturias. Each participant of the race has brought with him 3 people who have spent an average of just over € 250 per person, which has resulted in just over half a million euros for the Council of Onis. A figure that denotes the importance of the organization of sports events in the reactivation of tourism.

How was the Grand Trail Picos de Europa timed?

The race had 8 timing points, start and finish points at the same location and 4 intermediate points. The timing company 321Go used 6 devices for timing the 4 modalities, 4 TS1 devices, 1 TS2 device and one TSPortable that became the key to 2,000m altitude in the Jultayu (+1,500 meters of slope in 14 kilometers). Disposable chips were used for timing, and floor antennas were used at all control points with TS1 and TS2 devices.

321Go needed a timer and three assistants to time this race that could also be live tracked with Live App.

Live App, live rescue

Usually in trail races with long distances and many hours in the race it is essential to offer a race app as Live App. In these events, the app not only provides entertainment for those who might be interested in the course of the race, but also makes Live App an informative resource for family and friends of the participants to find out if the athletes who follow them are still in the race or have been withdrawn or disqualified.

In this race with just over 1,500 participants, almost 1,000 users downloaded it, with an average total use of the app of about 25 minutes, and each user of the application followed at least five athletes on average. Beyond the points of video repetition or live video the important feature in this type of race the live tracking of each athlete, the GPS location of the participants allowed the rescue services to establish the point where a runner was to send a helicopter to their rescue.