Francis Kelly's Transgrancanaria Adventure: A Trail Running Spectacle

March 20, 2024

Francis Kelly, a native of Galway, Ireland, found himself immersed in the vibrant world of trail running upon moving to Gran Canaria a year ago. His excitement for the sport abroad culminated in his participation in the renowned Transgrancanaria event, marking a significant milestone in his journey as a trail runner. Despite missing out on last year's edition due to his recent relocation, Kelly was determined to make his mark on the event that had long been on his bucket list.

Transgrancanaria stands as one of the premier trail running races globally, drawing elite athletes like Courtney Dauwalter to its challenging courses. For Kelly, the allure of sharing the event with such esteemed competitors was irresistible. Although he initially aimed for the marathon distance of 46 kilometers, fate had other plans as the event was sold out. Undeterred, Kelly pivoted to the 21-kilometre race, embracing the opportunity.

In conversation with Run Republic, Kelly highlighted the diverse range of races that Transgrancanaria offers, catering to runners of all skill levels and preferences. From family-friendly races to the grueling Vertical Kilometre ascent, the event fosters inclusivity and adventure in equal measure. Kelly recounted anecdotes of friends taking on the Vertical Kilometre challenge, illustrating the event's ability to unite trail runners from around the globe in pursuit of their passion.

The excitement of Transgrancanaria began even before race day, as participants converged upon the bustling expo in Maspalomas. Kelly described the expo as a hive of activity, teeming with thousands of runners collecting their race numbers and soaking in the pre-race atmosphere. Amidst the throngs of attendees, Kelly marveled at the international diversity represented, estimating that a significant portion of participants hailed from beyond Gran Canaria's shores.

Throughout the week leading up to the race, Gran Canaria transformed into a trail running mecca, adorned with a kaleidoscope of jerseys and tops from across the world. Kelly noted the palpable sense of unity among participants, as strangers bonded over their shared love for the sport. The event transcended mere competition, evolving into a celebration of exploration amidst the island's terrain.

For Kelly, Transgrancanaria encapsulated the essence of trail running—a fusion of adrenaline and personal challenge. Stay tuned to Run Republic as we learn about race day for Francis and how his Transgrancanaria debut unfolded.

Featured Image: Francis Kelly