Last Sunday 22nd of March the whatrunnersdo team was in Oleiros – a small coastal town in the municipality of A Coruña, Galicia in Spain. We were there to take part in the 5th edition of “Costa Trail de Oleiros” trail running event organised by the local trail running community.

We first visited our friend’s house and then drove to the start of the event with them. Oleiros is a small seaside town with a nice beach and some rolling hills. The event start was on a small park named “Parque da Lagoa” next to a lake. Here is an aerial view of Oleiros and the “Mera” beach. The last part of the race included about a 1km of running along the beach.

Photo credit – http://www.eltiempo.es/playa-de-mera-patelo.html

We arrived at the start a bit early so had some time for a coffee at a local café –for that all important caffeine shot before a run. Who needs gels and fancy electrolytes when you can have coffee and chocolate biscuits before a race?

After this we got into our running gear and headed to the start area. It wasn’t warm but it wasn’t freezing cold either and the sun was just hiding behind some low clouds. The distance was advertised as 18.5kms – with trail runs you have to just take that as it could be 17 or it could 19. The total elevation gain was roughly around 500meters – so nothing too strenuous or so we thought.

We started off right on time (well 10:30am), I’d been dying to get on a trail for some time and this coupled with the rush of adrenaline at the start boosted us through the 1st kilometer in a pretty good rhythm. The first part was a random loop through a neighbourhood street eventually cutting through a back alley into a bushy area and then suddenly it became a single track of bush with about ankle high grass. This of course also created an instant bottleneck and slowed things down considerably. In hindsight I went out far too quickly and Orsi was about 4-5 runners behind. I scooted around a couple of slower guys with a “come on behind me” to her, that was totally unnecessary and ignored rightfully so. We were into about 2kms in a potential 18+km run and there was no need to run it like it was a 5km dash for cash.

There was quite a bit of mud – a lot actually and it was the sticky gooey type so that it felt like you’d lose your shoes at each step as the mud sucked at your feet the more you tried to avoid it, I gave up and just ran straight through and it eventually cleared. Then it was the first hill, it wasn’t long but it was sharp going from about 5m to 80m real quick which hurt a bit. From there on end it was an up and down roller coaster ride.

Elevation graph from Strava – http://www.strava.com

Elevation roller coaster – what goes up comes down and lots of ups and downs makes your quads hurt a lot – well for a few days. As you can see the ups and downs of roughly 80m to 70m climbs and descents makes a big difference to your overall running rhythm.

Around the 16km marker there were some ropes to help with a steep drop to the beach and then back up again. Here is a link to a video of that part taken in the previous year.

Overall it was a great event and we managed to finish it in 1hrs 45mins. Orsi earned the third female spot on the podium for her effort although she was feeling a bit rough with some ankle pain.

Here is the link to Wikiloc to download the map if you are ever in Galicia and want to give it a go – http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=6456719

After the race every runner was given a ticket – this was not just a ticket – this was a ticket that entitled you to a plateful of churrasco and of course a cup of Estrella Galicia. That there was all worthwhile paying 10 Euros for the entry! And that was not all everyone also got a long sleeve technical running top plus water and electrolyte drinks.

Trails, Mud, Free- BBQ and Beer! – Yes, we paid 10 Euros entry fee – but hey…

Happy as Larry – well it’s not Larry but its BBQ meat and beer and I’m happy with that!