THE upcoming La Desertica ultra endurance race has attracted a record number of participants.
The provincial government revealed 6,000 athletes have signed up to take part in the event, considered one of the toughest of its kind in Spain.
This is 500 more than last year. What’s more, the Diputacion de Almeria said, 70 per cent of those planning to take part come from outside the province.
Co-organised by the provincial administration, the Spanish Legion based in Viator and the councils which the course goes through, participants will either attempt 70 kilometres on foot in a maximum of 16 hours or 100 kilometres on mountain bikes in 12 hours.
They will set off from Almeria city, passing through Huercal de Almeria, Viator, Pechina, Enix and Felix until they get to the finishing line in Roquetas de Mar.
Speaking at the event presentation, Almeria city Mayor Ramon Fernandez-Pacheco underlined the “special link” with the Legion, which he said had “once again demonstrated its commitment to the city and to the province.”
The city council head also stressed the benefits of the event for provincial hotels, restaurants and businesses.
Diputacion President Javier A. Garcia said La Desertica put Almeria “on the podium of these kinds of races, having gained a privileged position in the national sporting calendar.”
He also echoed the Mayor’s view the event brings economic benefits, helping to attract visitors to the province outside the peak holiday months.
“Thanks to this thousands of people discover all the excellent qualities which the Costa Almeria offers”, he commented, stressing, “sport generates wealth and employment.”
The La Desertica will be staged on Friday October 18 and Saturday October 19.