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Cristobal Adell Victorious in Epic TUGA-MABO


The weather forecast was spot on, the sky darkened and it rained continuously throughout the weekend in Borriol. On Saturday night it rained heavily and continued all day Sunday.

The race began at 07:00am on Sunday morning. 355 brave competitors took to the start line (66 didn’t turn up due to the bad weather) and headed towards the first “castell” climb, unaware they would be taking part in the most epic MABO so far.

The frontrunners consisted of a group made up by Cristobal Adell, Alfredo Gil, and Miguel Angel Sanchez who ran together up to km 20, where Adell attacked and separated from the group. From this point on the Albocasser runner went from strength to strength, leading with an advantage of several minutes at each control point.

At 11:01am Adell crossed the finish line under the intense rain finishing with a time of 4h 1’45”. Second place went to Alfredo Gil (4h 11’13”), followed a few seconds later by Miguel Angel Sanchez Cebrian (4h 11′ 27”) who has proved himself to be back amongst the best.

There was an epic battle for the female title, the frontrunners being the Catalan, Ragna Debats, the Valencian, Raquel Martinez and the English runner, Sarah Morwood. Debats and Martinez alternately took the lead, always closely followed by Morwood who came to Borriol as an unknown but had already proved herself at last year’s UTMB where she finished 11th making her likelihood of getting on the podium very high.  In the end Ragna Debats was victorious, with a time of 4h 59′ 44”, closely followed by Raquel Martinez (5h 1’15”) and Sarah Morwood (5h 05’53”), respectively.

The rain was relentless and the hours of racing took their toll on all the runners, leading to 48 runners withdrawing from the race. Medical services were not required for anything serious, although there were several falls and a few people with mild symptoms of hypothermia.

The team category was won by Mur i Castell-Tuga followed by Atmosfera Sport running and Tuga Outdoor Team respectively.

The race also had it’s charitable side. Josele, father of a girl affected by Rett Syndrome completed the race alongside the famous Valencian “Pilotari” Alvaro in order to raise money for research into this condition. The charitable arm of “La Caixa” bank gave 3000 euros along with 600 euros raised by the organization and this money will go to “Hospital San Joan De Deu de Barcelona”.

The IX TugaMABO was the second race in the EMM series after the Russian Baikal Ice marathon was held at the beginning of March. Also this year’s race was, deservedly, FEDME certified.

This year’s race was sponsored by “La Diputación de Castellón”, Tuga Active Wear, El ayuntamineto de Borriol” and Inov8.

From CM La Pedrera we would like to give a big thankyou to the 150 volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the race course along with red cross medical staff, the fire service, civil guards and local police who withstood 9 hours of constant rain.

Photographs: Andres Nuñez – Last Race Studio

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