FKT: Nicolò Paternoster, Víctor Viñas Pons - Barcelona Montserrat GR6 (Spain) - 2022-05-04

Route variation
Standard route
Multi-sport
No
Gender category
Male
Style
Unsupported
Start date
Finish date
Total time
6h 14m 56s
Report

One year ago we attempted this very same route for the very first time. We followed Cami de Santiago signs and mixed up with GR6 and a GPS track. We ended it in 7h30min and registered it as FKT (Fastest Known Time).
See past activity at https://www.strava.com/activities/5422754328

This year we decided to repeat it, improve it, and beat our time.
We used Garmin's PacePro feature to prepare pace and strategy so that we could be in track to finish it in 7h15min (that'd be taking 30sec per km away from the previous time).
We finished it in 6h15min, one hour earlier. This is how it went down:

Team: my mate Victor and myself.

We started around 4:30AM in Horta and followed the GPS track we prepared from 2020 (a huge advantage, compared to following the signs and wonder), which in many segments overlaps with the yellow arrows of Cami De Santiago.

Equipment: Light running t-shirts and shorts, a windstopper, 2 energy bars, 3 gels, 1x salt caps, 2x500ml water flask with electrolytes, dry fruits, headlight, smartphone in energy-saving mode to take pics, Garmin Fenix with contactless payment, fresh t-shirt, 10€ bill, USB power bank.

Brand new shoes for both of us: Salomon Ultra Glide. VERY NICE CHOICE.

Weather: Thankfully cloudy, no wind, perfect temperature, no rain. The sun DID NOT SHOW UP on the final ascent, unlike in 2021, making the climb up 2x easier, seriously.

Breaks: we stopped (without stopping the timer) for brief moments (20 sec to 5 minutes max): pee (experimenting with pee+sidewalking), refill water, and in Olesa to get a donut in the supermarket before the final 15k.

Water: There are fountains on the way: KM 6 (Sant Medir), KM 10/11 (Sant Cugat), KM 20-22 (Las Fonts), km 38 (descent right before Olesa). From there you are on your own, so make sure to load up.

Marks: you can follow GR6 red/white marks (pay attention to variants and other GRs), you can find the original tracks online, or the yellow arrows for the Cami De Santiago. We mixed it up a bit using a GPS track.
Unlike on the previous attempts, this time we made NO mistakes.

WARNING: there is a highway under construction around km XX, and I am unsure when that is completed if you'll be able to easily get across it.
If you try this, please let us know how you did it!

Feelings and notes: The route is nicer than one could expect, provided that it begins in a major city and it has to go through some towns and urban areas. I estimate 20% trails, 50% dirt roads, and 30% roads.

When we arrived at the Monastir we were energy-drained but unbelievably happy for the new FKT! We took the train down to Monistrol and decided to have our reward at a nice restaurant we saw along the route: Els 4 Vents, Terrasa. Fancy 20€ menu, you should try it too (you'll need a friend to pick you up in Monistrol and bring you there tho).

Sunday is crowded in Montserrat: make sure to book a restaurant (I suggest BO2 in Monistrol). This time we did it on a Wednesday and everything was basically closed.

If you end up doing this, please send me a note! We've found that this route is under-explored! (basically, almost no one is running it despite its value).

Next year we'll probably participate in the Sants-Montserrat race/walk and try to do a nice time.

https://www.relive.cc/view/vQvxnWKJwB6