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The winning team claimed the title by shaving three minutes from the previous record

Tuesday 9th April 2019


Records tumbled in the 2019 edition of the Mirador Challenge as the extraordinary walking machines Eric Champon and Mark Botterill, making his last appearance in the event before moving to the UK, led their team to victory in the Sports section, finishing the almost 30km course in 3 hours 55 minutes, three minutes quicker than the previous record set in 2017. The powerful group, which also featured Michelle Dixon, Tracey Storer and Andrew Robinson, also shaved two minutes from the time recorded for the special test stage between Mirador Punta de l'Arenal and Mirador Cap de Sant Antoni, covered the six kilometres leg in just 53 minutes.

After concerns about the weather in the days leading up to this challenging event, the morning broke clear and sunny to offer an almost perfect day for walking in the Mirador Challenge which this year was sponsored by financial consultants Blevins Franks. Thirty teams were to participate in this eighth edition of an increasingly popular medium-distance walking challenge which links all fifteen of the official viewpoints - miradores - along the stunning coastline of Xàbia. This year there were twenty teams competing in the Leisure category in which teams have to complete a task whilst covering the long course, time not an essential factor, whilst ten teams started in the very competitive Sports category.

After a short delay, the first team 'Nuns of the Run+Alan' left the starting line at Mirador La Granadella at 08:28 in the morning to loud cheers from the rest of the teams who would be following them at three minute intervals. They would be guided along the course by a network of volunteer route marshalls and were required to check through the viewpoints which was also manned by volunteers. The Leisure teams had been handed a set of fifteen photographs taken at each viewpoint but not necessarily of the stunning views. They had to observe carefully as they walked along the course and decide which photo belonged to which viewpoint. And whilst time was not an essential factor, they needed to complete each of the three phases within maximum time limits to avoid attracting penalties whilst a special speed section between Mirador La Falzia and Mirador L'Illa offered a sliding scale of points for the teams according to the time they covered the distance. The Sports teams simply had to go for it - without running - and cover the distance as quickly as possible. The walkers powered through the course, kept hydrated by a large supply of water kindly provided by Hamilton's of London, and they did so with huge smiles, enjoying both the experience and the wonderful coastline of Xàbia.

Starting in position 24, the team 'Are We Nearly There Yet?' set a phenomenal pace from the very start and moved up quickly through the field, although they were chased all the way by the seasoned team of 'Las Cabras Viejas' which included a couple of walkers who claimed the title in the first Mirador Challenge in 2012. At 13:41, just over four hours after leaving Mirador La Granadella, Eric led his team over the finish line at Mirador Els Molins to great applause from those who had gathered to welcome the teams. With the time spent at Mirador Creu del Portitxol, where teams were offered a snack bag supplied by Bar Quo Vadis, removed from their final time, team 'Are We Nearly There Yet?' recorded an adjusted time of 3 hours 55 minutes, a new record - but they wouldn't know that until later in the day when the trophies were presented.

Second over the line was team 'Nuns on the Run+Alan' also less 'Alan' as the fast pace seemed to have got the better of him, even though his team were competing in the Leisure category. As the other teams followed, all those who managed to finish the course were handed a commemorative medal and invited to enjoy a drink and some snacks kindly provided by Chit Chat. The final team, No'Mades Globales, crossed the line just after 4.00pm, almost 7½ hours after beginning but still had smiles on their faces.

That evening, many walkers, family, friends and volunteers gathered at Bar Quo Vadis for the trophy presentation, a final drink together and some teams even had enough energy left to dance to some live music to bring the weekend to a perfect end.

Results - Sports
(adjusted times)
01 - 3:55 Are We Nearly There Yet?
02 - 4:42 Las Cabras Viejas
03 - 4:44 Red Hot Chilli Peppers [AF]
04 - 4:54 Pork Chop Express
05 - 5:00 A La Deriva Team
06 - 5:10 Los Excursionistas *
07 - 5:11 Miradorables
08 - 5:11 Correcaminos *
09 - 5:13 Lady Elizabeth's Best Legs *
10 - 5:28 Grumpy Old Men
* penalties applied
[AF] - Top Majority Female

Trophies sponsored by
Blevins Franks (1st), A W Lawton Construcciones (2nd) and Chit Chat (3rd) with A La Deriva sponsoring the Top Female.

Veteran Trophy - Sports
(based on average age of the team)
01 - 66,2 Grumpy Old Men
02 - 63,8 Las Cabras Viejas
03 - 62,2 Correcaminos

Trophy sponsored by Finca Montgó Jávea.

Veteran Trophy - Leisure
(based on average age of the team)
01 - 70,8 OCSL Warriors
02 - 65,2 CBYA Machos
03 - 59,7 Nuns on the Run + Alan

Trophy sponsored by Finca Montgó Jávea.

Michael Ballantyne Memorial Trophy
(awarded for special achievement)
Eileen MacKenzie
Passionate participant of the Mirador Challenge

Results - Leisure
(teams started with 100 points)
01 - 139 CBYA Machos
02 - 131 The Fitbits [AF]
03 - 127 SoNsync
04 - 126 Guardian Angels
05 - 125 No Way Back
06 - 122 Bar Proppers
07 - 120 Casupers
08 - 120 The Golden Girls
09 - 118 Heaven HelpUs
10 - 109 Buzzy Bee's
11 - 102 Nuns on the Run + Alan
12 - 95 CBYA Windseekers
13 - 95 Blevins Franks
14 - 93 Voluntarios Velocidad
15 - 92 OCSL Warriors
16 - 83 Rockhoppers
17 - 79 The Northerners
18 - 75 Blister Sisters
19 - 67 Los Grandes Vagabundos Britanicos
20 - 57 No'Mades Globales
[AF] - Top All Female

Trophies sponsored by
Blevins Franks (1st), A W Lawton Construcciones (2nd) and Chit Chat (3rd) with El Convent sponsoring the Top Female.

Best-Dressed Team Trophy
(based on votes from the volunteers)
01 - 21,1% The Fitbits
02 - 19,1% The Golden Girls
03 - 18,7% SoNsync

Trophy sponsored by Cascara Hairdressing.

Results - Special Stage
(Punta de l'Arenal > Cap de Sant Antoni)
01 - 0:53 Are We Nearly There Yet? (Sports)
02 - 1:00 Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Sports)
03 - 1:02 Las Cabras Viejas (Sports)
04 - 1:02 Lady Elizabeth's Best Legs (Sports)
05 - 1:03 CBYA Machos (Leisure)
06 - 1:03 Correcaminos (Leisure)
07 - 1:04 The Fitbits
08 - 1:06 CBYA Windseekers
09 - 1:06 A La Deriva Team
10 - 1:08 Los Excursionistas
11 - 1:10 Miradorables
12 - 1:10 Nuns on the Runs + Alan
13 - 1:11 Bar Proppers
14 - 1:12 SoNsync
15 - 1:12 Pork Chop Express
16 - 1:13 Casupers
17 - 1:14 Grumpy Old Men
18 - 1:15 No Way Back
19 - 1:17 The Golden Girls
20 - 1:18 The Northerners
21 - 1:19 Guardian Angels
22 - 1:20 Blevins Franks
23 - 1:21 Buzzy Bee's
24 - 1:23 Rockhoppers
25 - 1:23 OCSL Warriors
26 - 1:23 Heaven HelpUs
27 - 1:28 Voluntarios Velocidad
28 - 1:29 Blister Sisters
29 - 1:32 No'Mades Globales
30 - 1:37 Los Grandes Vagabundos Britanicos

Trophy sponsored by
Bar Embruix.

Click here for more information about the Mirador Challenge.


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