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PC: Runners World

A small principality located between Spain and France in the Pyrenees, Andorra is host to an ultra trail running event with six different race distances. Darcy Piceu was the 1st woman and 9th overall to finish the 170km Ronda Dels Cims ultra race at the Andorra Ultra.

Bouncing back from a difficult day in competition last month, Piceu described her mindset and focus throughout the Andorra Ultra “I had competed in Lavaredo 120k just 2 weeks prior in Italy. That was a tough race for me. Emotionally and physically I was not in a great place. But I think having that race right before helped me to really focus on having fun, enjoying the surroundings and staying present during Ronda. Of course I had low points, but I would constantly bring my mind back to the now and lookup at the mountain, or find more heart rocks on the trail to help me stay focused.”

Circumnavigating the country of Andorra, the Ronda Dels Cims traverses over 16 major peaks, gaining 44,000 ft of elevation, climbing up to an altitude of 2,942 meters over the 170km race course. Piceu accomplished this feat in a winning time of 36 hours and 14 minutes, well over 3 hours ahead of the next woman to finish.

In awe of the spectacular setting for an ultra event, Piceu said “The highlight for me was witnessing the beauty of a new mountain range in Andorra. It was absolutely breathtaking.”

“Summiting Mt. Comapedrosa, the tallest peak in Andorra with an altitude of 2,942 meters, was the pinnacle of the race. There was a man playing the bagpipes on top and the views were incredible.”

While Piceu has compete all over the world in arguably some of the most difficult ultras, she praised the Andorra Ultra stating “The mountains were incredibly beautiful. The terrain is unlike any other race I have done. It’s the most technical 100 miler I have run to date on top of the 44,000+ft of elevation gain – harder than Hardrock for sure, except that you’re not at high altitude”.

Ronda Dels Cims, Andorra Ultra Trail
Ordino, Andorra
July 8, 2018

1. Darcy Piceu 36:14
2. Mariya Nikolova 39:36
3. Sabrina Solana 40:50
4. Silvia Ainhoa Trigueros 41:45
5. Harriet Kjaer 45:52