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TWC Penyagolosa Trails

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Education Advocate / Mother Philanthropist / Foster Youth Advocate / Homelessness Advocate
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Runners representing 49 countries gathered in Spain’s the city of Castellón for 2018’s Trail World Championships. These athletes tested their endurance, starting at sea level, making their way up 1,280 meters to finish in Sant Joan de Penyagolosa, in the Penyagolosa Mountains. The course is very tough, featuring a variety of terrain, including some very steep parts, especially in the later half of the course.

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Zach Miller (USA) kept an impressive pace for the fist half of the race, holding on to first place. However at about the 62km mark, Zach lost some steam and lost his lead. Two-time defending champion, Luis Alberto Hernando, displayed amazing form and presence of mind during the race, shadowing the front of the field for first half of the race only to take the opportunity to shoot ahead when they started slowing down. The champion won his third TWC in style in his homeland with silver going to fellow Spaniard Cristofer Clemente. Christopher’s performance was no less noteworthy as he started pretty far back in the pack (at one point 72nd at an aid station check in), making his way steadily to the front of the pack till he locked in that second position. Men’s 3rd and 4th place went to UK team’s Tom Evans and Jon Albon. This can be considered to be Tom Evan’s breakout performance and he maintained a steady fast past, keeping him with the front of the pack the whole time.

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Ragna Debats from Netherlands took the gold with what seemed like relative ease, takng the lead early on and maintaining it. Her past TWC performances were impressive as well, winning 3rd place in 2016 and 4th in 2017. Spain also made it to the women’s podium with Laia Cañes winning silver. Laia’s training and familiarity with the course shone through, outdoing her past performances, 19th at the TWC 2016 and 7th at the 2017’s. Bronze went to another breakout athlete, France’s Claire Mougel . Spain also took the 4th position with Gemma Arenas’ strong performance through out the race.
The imposing performances put forth by Spain’s athletes, ensured their team the gold this year. France took the silver and Team USA the bronze.

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