American Timothy Allen Olson is living proof of the magnetic pull of the Transgrancanaria, with participants from 70 countries.
Timothy Allen Olson was born in Wisconsin, in the United States. It was the mountains in Ashland, in Oregan, however, where he developed his passion for Ultra Trail racing. Timothy insists he feels the energy from the trees, mountains, and wild life in general, and now also at the volcanic and oceanic heart of Gran Canaria. On the night of the 24th of February, this health, nature and family loving sportsman will be on the starting line in Agaete taking part in the 125 kilometre version of the Transgrancanaria –the mother of all mountain races- alongside other world famous running stars.
The 18th edition of the Transgrancanaria HG event has broken records in the number of runners taking part. No less than 3,800 athletes have signed up this year, from up to seventy different countries, from places including Nepal, Australia, Chile and México, although most nationalities represented are from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Poland. Gran Canaria has become the Meca of Ultra Trail running, although the race here stands for friendship, understanding and shared love for sport, above everything else.
In the case of the 125 kilometre event, the race starts at 23.00 and participants will have to pit their wits against the most emblematic of landmarks around Gran Canaria all the way down to the dunes at Maspalomas. However, the experience begins long before this, from the moment racers land on the island. Timothy knows this only too well, because he turned up in good time with his wife and kids to enjoy “the incredible beauty of Gran Canaria”.
“To see the island through the eyes of my children confirms to me the beauty that surrounds us, if you just take the time to look and listen”, he reflects. “One of the things I like the most about Gran Canaria is the enormous amount of mountain routes, as well as picturesque villages, and the abundance of natural products and relaxing beaches right next to the cliffs”, he points out.
“Here you can enjoy a route around some mountains and then come to a village and try out some tasty food, after a tough day’s training. Or simply read a book and play with your kids on the beach”, adds Timothy, who seems to have stumbled upon the real secret of Gran Canaria. Indeed, he has shared these experiences on the island along with his family in his personal blog.
“Gran Canaria is one of my favourite places to come and run, climb and relax. During the race you breathe in the finest possible atmosphere, and the locals are kind and welcoming”, he stresses. Once the race is over, Timothy will hang around for a few days in Gran Canaria to get his strength back, before carrying on with the Ultra Trail world circuit. However there will be three things he will always take with him: his Scandanavian surname, his family, and the memory of his days spent on the island which he defines as “a piece of paradise”.