The World Championship of Snowshoes has closed with a resounding success the agenda of activities programmed in the region of Liébana between the 2 and 4 March. The race for the world title of snowshoes, of which Proa Comunicación has been a partner, was the main demand for the organization of an exclusive event, unique in all of Spain, and which has been an important economic and social boost for businessmen and inhabitants of the area.
The events began on Friday in Potes, where the opening ceremony was held with a lively and colorful parade of countries through the old town, until reaching the concentration of participants and fans in the Torre del Infantado. Then, those present could enjoy a nightly show of dancers, jugglers and fireworks that became a magnificent prelude to the sporting event.
The cold and windy morning of Saturday did not prevent the more than 200 athletes enrolled in the world championship, accompanied by numerous fans, using the Fuente Dé Cable Car to ascend the route of a circuit of 8.5 kilometers with a positive slope of 400 meters through the area of Lloroza lakes and the San Luis channel.
The winner of the men’s senior test was the Frenchman Stephane Ricard, with a time of 46.24, followed by two minutes and a second by the American Joseph Gray and two minutes thirty-two seconds by the Spaniard Roberto Ruiz.
In the women’s category, Michelle Hummel was proclaimed champion with a time of 57.06, followed by Ragna Debats, just over four minutes, and the Spanish Sandra Sevillano, just over eight minutes from the winner. The Spanish team was also proclaimed world champion by teams in the men’s category. In women, finished in second position.
On the other hand, in the junior male category won the British William Griffiths, with a time of 38.34; and in junior female category, the American Soleyl Gaylord, with a record of 35.40. After the official tests, an impressive unique and exclusive non-competitive night racket took place, as the Fuente Dé Cable Car had never opened at night to allow any sporting activity. More than 400 people participated in this experience.
The eleventh edition (first in Spain) of the Snowshoe World Championship concluded with a dinner for all participants followed by the awards ceremony and the Picos Fest music festival, culminating a program of activities that, according to the data of the Ministry of Tourism of Cantabria, has meant an economic return of 600,000 euros. In addition, the holding of this test has caused an important hotel occupation in the area, which has practically covered 100% of its offer.
According to the International Snowshoe Federation, the test organized by Picos Xtreme, and in which many companies and more than 150 volunteers collaborated, has been “without a doubt the best edition in history”. A challenge to be overcome in 2019 by the appointment confirmed in The Dolomites (Italy), where a race with more than 45 years old will be celebrated and with the presence of more than two thousand participants counting the non-competitive march.
Óscar Sebrango, manager of the active mountain tourism company and organizer of the event, Picos Xtreme, expressed his satisfaction: “Everything went perfectly and, therefore, we are very pleased to have organized this World Championship. We hope to have achieved a high visibility of Cantabria outside of Spain that will make it possible to schedule more sporting events or other events in the area attracted by an extraordinary landscape and culture. ”
The Snowshoe World Championship has had the support of the Government of Cantabria, represented by the Sports Council of the Government of Cantabria and the Lebaniego Jubilee Year Society. The event is framed within the program of the events of the Jubilee Year Lebaniego, event that takes place every 4, 5 or 11 years, as is the case of the last celebration, and that coincides with the opening of the door of forgiveness in the Monastery of Santo Toribio, one of the 4 holy places of Christianity since the Middle Ages.