Spanish ultra running underground news.

Spanish ultra running underground news. Carretera de la Muerte. Feb 6th 2010. 210 kms Malaga – Almeria
On the 6th February 1937, during the Spanish Civil war, Málaga fell under General Franco’s command, which in turn provoked a massive exodus of civilians and Republican fighters towards the city of Almería by the N340 coast road. Estimates put it that some 150,000 refugees fled from Malaga forming what was known locally as the “desbandá” (Desbandá is what birds do when scared by a scarecrow). The refugees were subsequently bombarded by the German and Italian Warships and aircraft that were in allegiance with Franco’s armies at the time. Only some 30,000 actually made it to Almería, covering the 210 kilometers by foot, with very little food and water between the two cities. The level of the massacre was so high that even in the 1960’s it was still possible to find human skeletons lying along the side of the road

The complete history, much of it in English can be read at

Last year 3 of us ran the route in one go for the first time ever, in memory of the dead. This year we’ll do it again but we would like to invite serious ultra runners to join us from all over. After all, the Spanish civil war attracted many people from outside Spain in the fight against fascism.

We’ll start at 6 in the morning from Malaga on Saturday 6th Feb and aim to be all finished by 6 in the evening of the 7th. This is not an “organised” event and as such there are no aid stations or infact any infrastructure whatsoever. Anyone running with us has to understand that they’re on their own for 210 kms and the only food and water will be what they can buy from the bars, cafés, petrol stations etc along the way. Maybe we organise a bus to get home or maybe we just use public transport. The point being that we want to run in a way that is as close as possible to the way the refgees had to cope with the journey, but obviously in our modern world and in 36 hours.

I’ll post more about the run and the logistics as we get nearer the time, including my cronical from last years run. (Still translating it from Spanish). For the local Spanish, this is an incredibly emotive event and many people are alive that had direct ancestors involved in the exodus. Last year we were joined by a guy whose own mother was 4 years old when she fled with her own mother.

And finally, we ask that all runners make a donation to Medicos sin Fronteras.They are our chosen charity because they continue to work with refugees in war zones. Apart from that there are no costs except your own food and transport. (if we organise a bus to bring us home we will share the costs)

Who’s interested? But remember, you have to be fairly confident you can cover 210 kms in 36 hours as there will be absolutely nobody around to pick up the pieces if you crash and burn. (although there will be other runners and maybe the odd support team or cyclist) It is a serious undertaking. I’m thinking mainly of course about the other nutters I met at Spartathlon. I can arrange hotels and stuff easily and Malaga has many cheep flights from the UK. My friends across the Pond may not find it quite so inexpensive but the invitation is open to you too!

Best wishes


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