FKT: Kendra Goffredo - Barcelona Montserrat GR6 (Spain) - 2023-01-31

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
6h 23m 1s

It's so cool that this route exists - running from Barcelona all the way to the famous Monastery was an absolute adventure.

Start: It was easy to use public transport to arrive at the start. 

Terrain and beauty: The first 5k was beautiful. The last 5k was steep and beautiful and rocky and lovely. Everything in between was a bit of everything - towns, a Hewlett Packard campus, gravel mountain biking routes, single track trails through forests, steep paved roads, steep rocky roads, a stream crossing. Some parts were well marked with yellow arrows or other markings. For many sections I had to rely solely on the GPX file that the other athlete posted - thank you Nicolò ! I ran with the GPX file on my watch so it would beep when I was off course, then I would consult the map I had on Garmin Explore and that would always get me back on track. The view from the monastery is divine. 

Eats and drinks: I wanted to go unsupported, so I brought 10 granola bars and four cheese+banana sandwiches so I wouldn't need to buy anything. Two sandwiches fell on the ground, but since I wanted to go unsupported, I couldn't risk losing the calories. In the end I needed every calorie I brought, so it was good that I ate the sandwiches (and spit out the rocks haha).

Note on fountains: There are many public water fountains, especially in the first half, but the first 5 I came to were dry (perhaps a winter thing?). Yikes! Luckily I ran with 1L in my hydration pack and another 300ml in soft flasks. The first working fountain I found was in the park that the route runs along in Sant Cugat del VallEs. The other working fountain I found was in a random park around mile 18 where I made a wrong turn and thankfully it led me into a park with a working fountain (near where the road Carrer del Falciot becomes Career del Xot in Can Palet de Vista Alegre, or at least that is what the map tells me the area is called). So, that means in the winter I had the advantage of cool temps, but disadvantage of fountains not working. I definitely ran out of water for the last 5k, but luckily the temps were cool.

Equipment: I ran in Nike Frees, which is an odd choice given how rocky the terrain is, but I am traveling and those are the only running shoes I have so I do all the things in those. I used the Osprey Dyna 1.5 hydration vest along with 2x150ml soft flasks. 

Animals: there were many dogs along the route, mostly barking behind fences, a few were outside the fences but none chased me (I slow down and walk by dogs so they don't feel threatened). But more fun, there were many mountain goats along the final rocky 5k. They seemed a bit scared of me and just stared and/or headed in the other direction. 

Good to know: Food and drink available at the monastery. (Thank goodness. I was out of everything.) Public transport back to Barcelona is easy. It involves a funicular + train combo for about 13 euros and takes about 2 hours. I didn't find any bathrooms on either though, so that's important for the hydrated. 

Good vibes: Thanks so much to Nicolò Paternoster for posting this route and answering my questions on social media before I set out on the adventure.