The big one for our Ultra runners – 60km and 2,115m positive ascent. A gentler 31km and 1,380m positive ascent for the Challenge.
Both routes head out of Moclin on the same track and over Sierra Puerto Lope. The descent is steep and rocky in places.
Skirting around the village of Puerto Lope, past the first timing point and under the main road, the route ascends steeply on a wide track, before descending past the olive sorting yard.
Crossing the GR-3410, and past the Shell petrol station, the route heads uphill towards Montesol and onto a rough track.
Crossing back over the GR-3410, you’ll head into CP1 turning right onto an ascending track. The Challenge runners head off diagonally across the field, through a derelict farm, before picking up the return route of the Ultra route.
Back to the Ultra route, the ascending track becomes trail, winding alongside the Sierra Pelada with views toward to the Sierra Parapanda, and at one point dropping into the barranco itself.
A left turn eventually takes you up an old hunter’s track, ascending steeply into an olive grove. Crossing a narrow ditch, the route goes through the trees before picking up a trail behind outlying farmhouses at the foot of the Sierra Parapanda.
Crossing the GR-3407, the route heads up the old quarry road and around onto the mountain proper, and the highest point of the course. If the weather is kind, you’ll enjoy views across the provinces of Granada, Jaen, Cordoba and Malaga before you hit CP2.
It’s then pine forest single track downhill from the height of the Moron. The track winds its way downhill with views to Illora below.
Don’t get carried away running downhill and miss the right turn off the main track! This takes you past farm buildings and into old pine woodland, on a continual descent. Eventually you will head into open ground and into the town of Illora. Crossing the GR-3407, you’ll head into CP3 and then hard uphill and onto Sierra Madrid.
A tough ascent through pine woodland, opens out onto a flowing single track traversing the mountainside. It’s then wide jeep trail around to Fuente Grande and back onto the combined race route.
Both routes drop downhill around an ancient cortijo to Fuente de la Piedra, across a stream and onto an old track uphill to Puerto Lope.
It’s back under the main road, through CP 2 (Challenge) / CP4 (Ultra) and then on through the village, through the multi-activity park and across the olive groves back toward Moclin.
After a steep ascent, you will cross the GR-3414 and head through the hamlet of Buenavista, back past the cemetery (no resting here!), up and onto Snake Pass and over the finish line.