Trailrunning in Tenerife (Canary Islands)

At the end of October I went to Tenerife to participate in the Tenerife Blue Trail. Because of a weather warning, the race got postponed to November just 4 hours before the initial start in in the south of the island. Standing there dressed in my running clothes and drop bags in hand It was quite a bummer to get the notice after I walked about 4km from my apartment to the bus. Well this was the perfect end to an already strange season. With no finish over 50k distances I just wanted to run this race so badly. Did not happen. As a runner I think despite the lack of finishes I learned a lot this season. I feel like I got stronger, running over the winter as preparation for 100 miles of Istria and trying to structure my running a bit more. I hope to be around this crazy sport of ultra running for a long time and so I think this season was quite valuable and educational for me.
The weather predicted did not hit Tenerife that hard and so I was able to explore the trails on my own. In eight days on the Island I ran about six different trails from east to west all over the place.

The trails where very well marked, so I had never problems to follow the right way. It can get very hot even in October and water was scarce. So bring enough! …and sunscreen!

The Afur Loop aka „Mr. Wilson“
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Alone the drive to Afur is quite exciting. Very small and winding roads in the mountains of the northeast. I just wish the this trail was longer, it is a very beautiful course through Canyons and along the coastline with views over the Atlantic Ocean. I would recommend to go clockwhise from Afur so you have the downhill road stretch at the end of the loop.

El Realo Alto aka „The Roller Coaster“
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In the foothills of Puerto de la Cruz lays this quite runable forest trail. You have one bigger climb no matter which direction you go first.

Garachico-Montana Chinyero aka „Quadcrusher“

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Climbing steep from the old town of Garachico west of Puerto Cruz this can be done also as a loop trail around Mount Chinyero which provides great views over Teide. Be sure to start earlier as it gets very hot on the climb out of town. I ran out of water so I could not do the loop trail which adds about 6km to the 25 for going out and back. A lot of sand and lava rock. Very well marked but no water on the route. You can make this one shorter if you wish by driving further up the road by car.

Sendero 7 Montana Blanca – Pico del Teide aka „Spanish Sahara“

In the heart of Teide Nationalpark, this is a must do. You start right at the road or further down at the visitor center if you want to have a long day out. Bring a lot of water!
If you want to run up to the summit of Teide you need to have a permit for the last 200 meters to the crater. Otherwise the rangers will not let you enter the last trail leading up to the peak. Trust me you want to go to the summit. So arrange that permit early enough! I could not get one and had to turn back at 3550m where the tourists arrive with the cable car.

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