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UK Gear Fan, Chris Goodacre wins Ultima Frontera 50km Race

>>03 November 2011

Marathon runner and UK Gear fan, Chris Goodacre placed FIRST at this year's Ultima Frontera 50km race in Spain -  his first ever ultra marathon. Chris gives us a run down on the event and why he feels a race such as the UF160 is the perfect link between the marathons and the ultras. Race Report by Chris Goodacre

la_ultima_frontera_logo.jpeg"I met Paul Bateson and the Axarsport team in 2009 when preparing for the Al Andalus Ultra Trail (AAUT) Race, where I worked with them on camp. I was totally fascinated by the event, the runners, and the whole set up! At that time, I was not a runner myself but the AAUT runners encouraged me to have a go. So I did and loved it. I signed up for my first half marathon in Nov 2009 and since then have completed 30 races ranging from 10km's to marathons, always with the idea of some day getting into the 'ultra scene'.

Having never ran an ultra marathon before, I thought it would be best to take the step from marathon to ultra marathon by taking part in a 50km race. Hearing so much about it in the media and amongst fellow marathon runners, I decided to run the Ultima Frontera 50, part of a new ultra marathon weekend set up by TEAM AXARSPORT which also included an 80km & 160km race.

My shoe of choice for the race were the UK Gear PT-1000 (NC's) which I purchased 3-months before hand to help me train for the ultra marathon. During the race, it rained surprisingly and this was the first time I had worn the shoes in wet weather. They performed amazingly.

From the moment that I arrived in Estadio Municipal Medina Lauxa, Loja, there was a real buzz  of excitement and anticipation in the air. I knew that I had made the right decision signing up for the race.

The 50km, 80km & 160km race runners were placed at the Start Line together, so I found myself standing next to some of the best 100milers in the ultra scene!

After leaving the beautiful town centre of Loja, the 50km route quickly headed towards the hills and hit a series of long climbs and descents on tracks until you reached a tough decent into the town of Zagra. After a tough 2km climb on the only road out of the town, runners reached the 20km mark and Check Point 1 (CP1) in the beautiful town of Ventorros de San Jose and were greeted with water & food.  

The atmosphere amongst runners continued to be good and after a tough first 20km of fast down hill and power walking up hill, there was a  nice 16km reasonably flat run to CP2, which I used to get my head down and get on at a good pace.

Reaching CP2, the 80km and 160km race runners turned left and headed up to Montefrio whilst the 50km race runners turn right and hit a track down to CP3. After a few hills, the track opened up with stunning views of the Valley, where you could see the Town of Huetor Tajar which we were heading for in the distance.

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After passing CP3, it was the last stage home which included a nice twisty track and a climb up towards Mont Hacho. Another steep climb on tarmac which lead to a technical down hill track gave you a welcome view of Loja. This was fantastic as with only 4km to go, to see the picturesque town gave me a real boost to make it to the Finish Line and complete the race.  A sharp down hill track through the town and it was on to the finish line, situated at the sports centre which offered excellent facilities. I placed FIRST in the 50km race in a respectable time of 5:38.

The Ultima Frontera is the ideal race for anybody thinking of pushing from Marathons to Ultra Marathons and gives the confidence to take that next step. I am completely hooked now and I know for sure that I will be back to do the 80km or 160 km next year!"

Useful Websites:

Ultima Frontera 160

Team Axarsport

Trail Run Spain