Gran Canaria Endurance Race Relies on SPOT Gen3 for Runner Safety

All 100 competitors in this year’s Transgrancanaria 360º race, one of the world’s toughest running races, will use SPOT Gen3 satellite tracking devices to ensure they stay on the designated route and will make any potential rescues a lot easier.

As well as its reputation for being a difficult course across the second largest of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria, Transgrancanaria 360º requires its individual participants to have a high level of self-sufficiency. Starting 22nd February 2017, the course covers 265 km and includes over 16 km of uphill elevation. Adding to the challenge, competitors have to finish the course within 101 hours, just over four days.

Competitors have to be able to survive drastic changes in weather conditions while getting by with very little sleep and food. The route is not well marked so runners have to take a GPS device and a mobile phone as well as carrying supplies and a tent. This year, the kit list has a new essential item - the SPOT Gen3.

Each competitor will run with a SPOT Gen3 on the their backpack, allowing event organisers, emergency support teams, sponsors, family and friends to precisely track each runner’s location through a customised website from WAA Tracking, a Globalstar VAR partner and geolocation solutions specialist. Ten support personnel will also carry SPOT devices.

In the event of a competitor going off-course, WAA’s geo-fencing software will alert the rescue teams, ambulances and helicopters, to assist the runner. Plus, the one-touch SOS button on SPOT Gen3 also gives competitors an easy way to let organisers know if they get into trouble.

“With great success in races such as the Marathon Des Sables, the SPOT Gen3 is the de facto standard for tracking and rescuing participants in tough, long races. Because of the distance and technical difficulty involved, SPOT Gen3 will make our safety much better by giving us the details of where each participant is and whether they are heading off-course. Only satellite could provide accurate location tracking because there is such limited mobile phone signal in the remote regions of the island,” said Armando Bailón, Marketing Manager for Transgrancanaria 360º.