The toughest edition of the 360º The Challenge Gran Canaria concludes with 25 finishers

Podio final de la 360º The Challenge Gran Canaria 2023 ©iancorless
19 Nov, 2023
59 participants who started in Tejeda could not complete the 269 kilometers of the race
Slovak Soňa Kopčoková and Hungarian Szilvia Lubics finish in second and third place in the female category

The eighth edition of the 360º The Challenge Gran Canaria, which surpassed the toughness of last year’s edition with 269 kilometers and more than 14,000 meters of positive elevation, concluded this Sunday with the arrival of the last participants. After 101 hours of competition, only 25 runners out of the 84 who started in Tejeda were able to return to the little village located in the center of the island. The 59 dropouts in the race (55 men, two women, and the two members of one of the relays) mean that more than 70% of the participants did not complete the race.

This Sunday, the podium was completed in the women’s category, won by the French Claire Bannwarth. Thus, the Slovak Soňa Kopčoková was the runner-up after reaching 4:00 in the morning with a time of 91 hours, two minutes, and 17 seconds in her second 360 to finish. The Hungarian Szilvia Lubics finished third in the race, crossing the finish line at 09:44, accompanied by her compatriot Attila Kele, with a time of 96 hours, 44 minutes, and 40 seconds, both finishing the race for the first time.

In the men’s category, the race was concluded on Saturday evening by Ignacio García del Castillo (eighth with 77 hours, 37 minutes, and 57 seconds in his fifth completed 360), the Irish Eoin Keith (ninth and finisher for the third time with 79 hours, 33 minutes, and 45 seconds), Alfredo Vila (tenth with 80 hours, 45 minutes, and 37 seconds in the third 360 he completes). At night, the Italian Giancarlo Callisardi (11th in the fifth 360 that concludes with 82 hours, 57 minutes, and 49 seconds), Yeray Rodríguez (first 360 to finish, 12th with 84 hours, 6 minutes, and 52 seconds), Eduardo Falcón (13th with a time of 84 hours, 14 minutes, and 15 seconds, the first 360 he completes), the British Jonathan Burnhams (first-time finisher, 14th with 87 hours, 2 minutes, and 4 seconds), and the Italian Vittorio Benvenuti (three-time finisher, 15th with 91 hours, 1 minute, and 15 seconds) concluded the race.

During Sunday morning, Raúl González (first 360 to finish, 16th with 96 hours, 5 minutes, and 51 seconds), Alberto Mansilla (third 360 to finish, 17th with 96 hours, 23 minutes, and 29 seconds), Juan González (18th with 96 hours, 22 minutes, and 35 seconds in the third 360 to finish) crossed the finish line. The last runner to cross the finish line was Marco Antonio Martínez, who completed his first 360 at 11:48 in the morning with a time of 96 hours, 48 minutes, and 5 seconds, 40 hours after the winner, Romanian Claudiu Beletoui.

Marco Antonio Martínez, last finisher of the 360 ©iancorless

Marco Antonio Martínez, last finisher of the 360 ©iancorless

In the final standings, in the men’s category after the Romanian runner (who wins this race for the first time), the Gran Canarian José Bordón finished as the runner-up in his debut in the race, and the Italian Luca Papi, the only runner to complete all eight editions of the 360. Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Claire Bannwarth secured her fourth consecutive victory in four participations, this time finishing second overall. Along with her, the aforementioned Soňa Kopčoková and the Hungarian Szilvia Lubics stood on the podium. In the relay category, making its debut in this competition, the locals Esteban García and Francisco Estévez emerged as winners.
Claire Bannwarth and Claudiu Beletoiu, winners of 360º 2023 ©iancorless

Claire Bannwarth and Claudiu Beletoiu, winners of 360º 2023 ©iancorless

In the awards ceremony, where the winners received a spiral-shaped wooden plaque with the silhouette of Gran Canaria laminated in pine and with a stone base from the Arucas quarry, designed by sculptor Óliver Sánchez, the mayor of Tejeda, Francisco Perera, congratulated the participants in this edition by praising the skill of the 25 finishers, while also remembering those who could not cover the 269 kilometers. Perera expressed his satisfaction with the work done by the organizers of this event, the company Arista Eventos, and welcomed the ninth edition to have his municipality as the focal point of the race.

Meanwhile, Fernando González, CEO of Arista Eventos, thanked the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, the City Council of Tejeda, and the Government of the Canary Islands, as well as the sponsors of the event, for their support to this ultra-distance race.

Wendy Cruz, director of the 360º The Challenge Gran Canaria, congratulated the runners, both those who finished the race and those who did not, and invited them to participate in next year’s edition. She also thanked the work done by the volunteers at the various life bases and refreshment points, as well as the colleagues of Arista Eventos for ensuring that this event took place without incidents.

The 360º The Challenge Gran Canaria is sponsored by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria through Turismo de Gran Canaria and Gran Canaria Isla Europea del Deporte, the Government of the Canary Islands with Promotur – Islas Canarias, the City Council of Tejeda, and Fred. Olsen Express; and with the collaboration of Lorenzo González Automoción, Gofio La Piña, Inerza, and Provital.