With this post, we start a range of publications aimed to explain technically the three Penyagolosa Trails HG races of this yea: MiM, CSP and Trail World Championships. Tours whereby lost paths have been recovered, after listening to our elders and study our mountains. In this first post, we are going to talk about Castelló- Les Useres section, it is the same for the three races, except for the CSP that will start from the centre of Castelló to reach 2km later with the MiM and CSP, at the UJI.
From the UJI, the race goes direction to Magdalena Hospital and in a few metres start the firts climb (hike) of the day, the Tossal Gros de Castellón.
Careful with this new route, we have just started running and we have one of the first important hikes, with 234m+, 2,66kms of distance and a 9% of average increase. The last ramps are going to put our pulse rate very high if we don’t know, ¡it’s just the beginning!
Strava Section https://www.strava.com/segments/17051370
Once this first hill is out of the way we continue direction to Borriol. First, on a technical path, followed by a runnable one, to continue through a track until the last section of technical path before arriving to Borriol.
Here we can recover a Little of our effort because we have in front of us an explosive and challenging climb (hike). With less distance that Tossal Gros, the climb to the Pedra de Borriol has 2,5kms, 356m+ and a 14% of average increase. We will have to use our quadriceps! The uphill soil, as well as in the Tossal Gros, has technical parts with live rocks and more runnable sections, with earthen floor
Strava Section https://www.strava.com/segments/17027302
Until here, MiM and CSP have suffered important differences in the distance and elevation gain respect the last edition and also the kilometres of path has increased at the expense of asphalt. In the MiM, we have 12km, 14 last years, the elevation gain was 678m+ the last edition and 811 this year. These data indicate an increase first section hardness.
The main differences on the CSP are on the new start line from Castellón, that increase 3,8km on the beginning and the hike to Tossal Gros in this year edition. Last year we hike to Collet through tracks and asphalt leaving Tossal on our right.
We continue moving forward until la Pedra de Borriol, to continue the race through the original GR33, passing el Pou del Mollet, el Mas de Panero, la Font de la Canal… all, combining tracks and asphalt sections very runnable with an easy path that we will leave at the CV-160. Here we will cross under the road and we will connect with the new GR33 by tracks.
We will keep forward through the riverbed of the Barranc de les Parres to find out another novelty on the route. At the junction of the riverbed with the GR33, we will start the hike to Mas de Polinario, an old recovered path for this editions that will make us gain elevation rapidly to run through the ridge until the named masía and link again with the GR33. With this we gain more path, reduce distance, from 2,5 to 1,4km, and lose 34m+ of elevation, that you can not appreciate on the track. We have called this section Pujada a la Talaiota https://www.strava.com/segments/17027310
Once overcome this hurdle, we fly to La Bassa aid station through a track. One more surprise is waiting for us after the aid station. In 2017 edition, the routes leave el Mas de Valdesca on its right going on asphalt and track. Now, we can tour the same section through tracks and paths, leaving the mas on our left, a 190m cut off, not much, but it is always more pleasant to run on track and paths rather than on asphalt.
If we remain on the GR33 on the famous way to rambla de la Viuda, on a slight slope by path until the Tossal del Segall to go downhill trough an ancient track converted to path.
In previous editions, the route left the watercourse in 1km; now, we will follow 700m more, approximately, to find another recovered path, the Pujada al Vilamboc (https://www.strava.com/segments/17027324). A path section with an elevation of 170m+ and a distance of 1,74kms, with a 9% of average. We will leave the watercourse behind to continue going downhill and… ¡surprise! Another new path that leave us at the Barranc de les Olles. Be careful with the downhill section, it has a firm floor, but technical.
We will follow the route to overcome the last serious hurdle before arriving to Les Useres, la Pujada del Barranc de les Olles (https://www.strava.com/segments/17027335). A challenging uphill kilometre with 114m+, to leave us overlooking the village and the next aid station. A shortly runnable and technical terrain will leave us at the foot of the village, to arrive to les Hortes uphill.
To sum up, this section of the Rambla de la Viuda to Les Useres has less tan 100m of distance respect to 2017, but 178m+ more. And what it is more important, almost all the route to Les Useres will go through trails, winning more beauty and toughness, leaving the old GR33.
Until here the first analysis of the route. In a few days we will explain you the peculiarities of each race, as from Les Useres they take different routes.