Like all good trips this one had a soundtrack. Unfortunately it was provided by a local band at the expo belting out rock covers to make your ears bleed at 11pm the night before the race. We had to be up at 2am to board a bus to the start at 3am. How I was regretting choosing that oh so convenient race hotel now. So with ‘We Will Rock You’ still reverberating round my head I dragged myself out of bed, tried to force down some toast and climbed on the bus.

La Palma is a spectacular island, formed of volcanic rock, with beaches of black sand, interesting looking flora wherever you look and lots of big hills with enough beautiful trails criss-crossing them to make grown runners weep. It’s just a perfect venue for a race and, like many of the European trail races, it’s a huge deal here. While I wasn’t crazy about the late night live band it was great that the expo was a big party, complete with a choreographed running-related mass dance routine in the afternoon. It was more like ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ than a running trade fair.

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