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ISLAND GAMES

WITH ITS PEARLY WHITE BEACHES, BLACK LAVA, SOARING MOUNTAINS AND MAGICAL PINE FORESTS, GRAN CANARIA HAS IT ALL. FRESH FROM RUNNING THE ISLAND’S ICONIC ULTRAMARATHON, TRANSGRANCANARIA, JAMES POOLE EXPLAINS WHY IT’S A RUNNING PARADISE

GRAN CANARIA

A trail run in the Lakes, Peaks or Highlands of Scotland can be as tough and picturesque as almost anywhere on the planet. However, during the short days of January and February there’s no doubt that escaping to warmer climes can bring a well-needed boost of vitamin D and a fillip to winter training regimes.

In recent years, Gran Canaria – the second largest of the Canary Islands, situated just off the northwest coast of Africa – has become a top destination for runners. And it’s not difficult to understand why.

At around four hours from the UK by plane, Gran Canaria is not as close as Mallorca or mainland Spain. However, visitors are spoilt for choice, with technical trails, picture-postcard Spanish villages, pine forests and mountain-top vistas. All situated only a short drive from any one of the towns or resorts that dot the island. It’s hard to think of a place with a more varied or exciting terrain for runners.

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About Men's Running

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life and when it comes to running nothing could be truer. Whether novice or veteran, once you’ve got your running shoes on the world opens up to you unlike it does for any other sport. If you just want to pound the pavements you can start the moment you step out the door, either following a beaten path or taking a psycho geographical approach to an area. Or you can head off into nature and run the trails, marked or unmarked, and experience the unique challenges they have to offer. At this time of year those who prefer their runs organised can enter multiple events every weekend – from tiny attendance 10Ks to mass participation marathons – and build up quite a medal collection in the process. And if a marathon isn’t quite long enough for you, the growing number of ultra events means your endurance ambitions are well catered for. Then there are the OCRs, charity dashes, duathlons, triathlons and of course your local parkrun. All of which add to the diversity you enjoy when being part of the running community, whatever your ability. Our aim at Men’s Running is to cover all of these bases and offer a balanced view of what it is to be a runner and the issues and topics that affect and interest us all. Drop us an email on mensrunning@wildbunchmedia.co.uk and let us know how we’re geting on – we’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to head over to mensrunning.co.uk for more reviews and features, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.