Contestant competing in Ultra Sierra Nevada © ultrasierranevada.com
Contestant competing in Ultra Sierra Nevada © ultrasierranevada.com

Ultra Sierra Nevada

Ultra Sierra Nevada is an ultra marathon of 100 kilometres in distance, involving a continuous ascent along paths and tracks from the city of Granada up to the summit of Pico Veleta, followed by a descent to Pradollan, a ski resort in the Sierre Nevada mountain range.

The ultra marathon, which in recent years has taken place in early April, has up to 350 contestants competing against one another to complete the course in the fastest time, but don't expect it to be over quickly, as the route includes a total ascent of 2,900m. 

Ultra Sierra Nevada 2024

This year's Ultra Sierra Nevada, the tenth edition of the competition, was held on the weekend of 5th - 7th April 2024. In its entirety, the event included: the Half Marathon (25 km), the Marathon (40 km), the Trail run (62 km) and the Ultra Marathon (100 km). As the event has grown, different trail races have been added so that trail runners of all levels and profiles can take part.

Results: Ultra winner - Agustín Luján (10:11:30); Trail winner - Gvido Kalnins (06:14:56); Marathon winner - Tom Joly (04:29:11); Half Marathon winner - Ignacio Moro Gonzalez (02:26:02).

Further information

ULTRA SIERRA NEVADA is a mountain race of 100 kilometres of continuous ascent on paths and tracks from Granada city to the summit of Pico Veleta followed by a descent to Pradollano Ski Resort. The ULTRA SIERRA NEVADA starts at 22:00 hrs on the Friday evening in 'Paseo de Salon' in Parque De Las Alquerías near Granada city centre. From there, the route will take participants through the Generalife pastures and, after following the Darro river basin, to the village of Beas. From here, the route heads towards Quentar and the town of Pinos Genil. The Genil River marks the beginning of the most demanding part of the race: the climb through the Sierra Nevada National park; 40 kilometres of climbing over 2,500 metres through Pradollano, zig-zagging up La Veleta mountain to reach the summit at 3,100 metres above sea level. From there, a direct descent down the valley leads to the finish line in the Pradollano ski resort at 2,100 metres. The winning athletes will cross the finish line shortly after 11.00 hrs on Saturday recording race times of slightly over 13 hrs. This is the highest ultra mountain race in the Iberian Peninsula. The ULTRA SIERRA NEVADA has a climb of 5,480m and a decent of 3,900m. It has a maximum time of 23.30 hours. The maximum number of participants is 350. Route on Wikilocks.

The first edition of the Ultra Sierra Nevada was a trial event, taking place on the 13 September 2014. The 80km course was won by Ignacio Moron Gonzalez of Granada who reached the peak of La Veleta in 9hrs 34 mins and finished in Pradollano in 10 hrs 15 mins. In 2016 the dates were 15th and 16th July with the main run extended to 100km and starting from the village of Beas de Granada. Previous editions' dates were 13th to 15th July 2018, 12th to 14th July 2019, 1st to 3rd April 2022, 14th to 16th April 2023. Dates for the following year's edition are usually announced in September. 

ULTRA SIERRA NEVADA R3LEVOS is a three person relay team race over the same Ultra Sierra Nevade route that has been introduced for the 2024 edition. The three sections are Granada to Quentar (51km +2.162m), Quentar to Dornajo (25km +2.024m) and Dornajo to Pradollano (25km +1.555m).

There is also a reduced version of the race called the Ultra Sierra Nevada Trail of 62 km which starts off from Granada on the Saturday at 06.00 hrs initially following the same route. It used to finish in the village of Güejar Sierra, but now also finishes in Pradollano shortly after 12.30 hrs Saturday. The Ultra Sierra Nevada trail also even had a barefoot category in its early years.

In 2016 a 42 km marathon was introduced leaving from from Granada at 08.00 Saturday and arriving at Pradollano after 11.00 hrs. In 2016 a Granada Urban Trail was added to the races but was replaced post-Covid with Ultra Sierra Nevada Media, a 21k Half Marathon leaving Pinos Genil village at 09.00 on Sunday and arriving in Pradollano after 11.15 hrs. In 2022, the 100 mile ( 158km) Ultra Sierra Extreme was inaugurated and it went ahead in 2023 but it is not on the 2024 schedules.  

For more information visit https://www.ultrasierranevada.com/en/.

For information about other endurance events in Andalucia visit - Endurance Running and Biking.