The Way of Legends: Burgos Ultra Stage Race

Join RaceQuest for this all-inclusive 6-Stage Ultra in Northern Spain

October 13-21, 2017

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What is the Way of Legends?

The Way of Legends is a 6-stage fully catered Ultra Race across Burgos, Spain that encompasses 254km. The first five stages are a bit longer than marathon distance, with a final shorter stage that features the World Heritage site of Burgos Cathedral.

The Cathedral also serves as the traditional finish of the famous Camino de Santiago path, or The Way of St. James. Participants in the Way of Legends race have 12 hours to complete each stage, with checkpoints along the course.

The race presents physical and mental challenges in a setting that truly rewards you. Less than 3% of the course is on asphalted road. With checkpoints positioned conveniently near villages, you are never more than 8-16km from aid.

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Inspired Running

From the moment you arrive in Burgos to your departure on October 21, you are in our care, with all meals, accommodations, ground transportation, medical aid and water provided at each check point. 

This is the second year of this event. Our CEO, Krista Baker-Scheyer, volunteered in 2016 and knows every inch of the course. Additionally, Krista has also completed a solo 600-mile Camino de Santiago three times, so you are in experienced hands with any questions about the trip, what it's like, and what to expect with the Way of Legends.

With an experienced staff behind you, you'll be able to take on this challenge freely and confidently...without worrying about logistics, meals, or housing each night. We take care of everything; all you have to do is enjoy racing!

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Finish on the Camino de Santiago

The event begins with your arrival in Burgos. We pick you up, have lunch, and perform the requisite medical and equipment checks. We dine and stay this evening, as well as 14 Oct., at race headquarters in Burgos. 

Stage 1 begins the morning of Sunday, 15 October, with approximately 48km of running. Stage 2 is from Sedano to Poza de la Sal, a distance of about 51km. From Poza, we run to Olmos de Atapuerca for 47.5km of Stage 3. Stage 4 is over to Pineda a la Sierra a distance of 52.5km. Your fifth, and final long stage of 42km ends in San Pedro Cardena.

The finish line is near, and we round out the race with a short sixth stage of 13km on the Camino de Santiago path, completing the race at the Burgos Cathedral.  Here you will receive your finisher's medal.

 

For more details of each stage, please scroll below.

The race directors and our experienced team will be there to support you in this truly amazing race.

The race directors and our experienced team will be there to support you in this truly amazing race.

What's Included:

  • Race entry into the Way of Legends 6-Stage Ultra Race, the ultimate "cultural foot race" across the region of Northern Spain
  • Pick up in Burgos, Spain on 13 October from the local train or bus station to begin your journey (we can provide flight tips and assistance)
  • A carefully crafted race course, supported by an experienced ultra stage team
  • Vehicle and professional medical aid during the race
  • All meals including breakfast at Race Headquarters, two nights' accommodation, prior to reaching the start line on 15 October
  • Mini-bus transfer to the first camp site
  • A well marked course and regular checkpoints every 8-16km, supplying you with water
  • Inns, hostels or lodge accommodation throughout the race in beautiful locations
  • Plentiful and nutritious breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner at the overnight locations
  • Dinner and award ceremony at a 5-star hotel in Burgos
  • One night of accommodation in a 5-star hotel in Burgos, including breakfast
  • Trophies and  finishers medals
  • 21% Tax is included in the registration fee

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights into and out of Spain and individual travel arrangements all the way to Burgos (by train or bus). RaceQuest can advise you on this.
  • Alcoholic beverages and extras at hotels and all other overnight locations
  • Optional pre- and post-race extension programs (please inquire)

Pricing and Booking Information

Entry Package (with all inclusions as stated above): $2,095 per person

Questions prior to booking? Please call us toll-free at 855-TRAV-NOW (855-872-8669) or write to us at team@race-quest.com.

IMPORTANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THIS EVENT

Entry into the Way of Legends is extremely limited. The total entry fee is $2,095. A non-refundable deposit of $700 (USD) is required to submit your entry into the event. The balance of $1,395 (USD) is due and will be collected on the credit card you supplied for your deposit on  July 1, 2017. Please note the following cancellation dates for partial refunds:

If you notify us in writing (racequesttravel@gmail.com) of your need to withdraw:

  • Before the 10th of July 2017, you will receive a full refund of the entry fee minus the non-refundable deposit of $700
  • After the 10th of July 2017 but before the 13th of September 2017, you will be refunded 50% of the entry fee minus the non-refundable deposit of $700
  • If you withdraw from the event after the 13th of September 2017, no refunds are possible.

We encourage you to purchase travel insurance to protect against unplanned financial loss due to your having to withdraw from this event. Additionally, you will be given a medical release and entry agreement form to complete upon acceptance of your deposit and intention to race. 

Once your entry is received, you will be provided with a Declaration of Agreement (sign this and bring a printed copy of it to the race), and a Medical Certificate. The Medical Certificate must be completed by a qualified physician and must be dated no more than 30 days prior to the start of the race, 15 October 2017. You will bring this form with you to the check-in for the race.

 

Each Stage of the Race Incorporates a Unique Legend

The Legend of the Indomitable Lost City of Bravum

First Stage: 48km from the Celtic Hill Fort City of Ulaña to the Noble Village of Sedano

The conquest of Hispania by the Romans lasted 200 years from 219 BC to 19 BC. The last Celtic tribes of the North West held out for decades, these tribes were characterized as extremely aggressive and indomitable. The fighting was so savage and resistance so fierce that seven Roman legions were called into duty. There was such a high loss of life that many Roman soldiers refused to fight or mutinied. The Legion, the I Augusta, even suffered the humiliation of being forbidden to use the legion´s name and banner as a punishment for their incompetence. Finally The Emperor Augustus himself arrived in command of his army in 26BC, and through his leadership, the Romans set up for the next seven years a permanent siege of the remaining hill fort cities until the last Celtic tribes were finally defeated and the “Pax Romana” imposed.

The Legendary hill fort city of Bravum on the edge of the Cantabrian mountains in the North West of Burgos was notorious during the Roman conquest as it held out against the persistent siege for decades and was the origin of the guerilla resistance that continuously humiliated the Roman legions. However when Augustus lead the final push, the freedom loving Warriors of the Turmogi Clan feared the inevitable and preferred to die eating poisonous Yew tree seeds rather than be slaughtered or enslaved by the Romans. Thus one autumn the city vanished without trace leaving the Romans bewildered. The Warriors may have chosen death over slavery but their families disappeared with the bones of their heroes and a few worthwhile possessions into the narrow valleys and steep canyons of the head waters of the Ebro River from whence their forefathers had originally come from.

Stage 1 Begins at  the historical site of “Castro Ulaña”, the largest Celtic hill fort city in Spain, and heads north towards the high moorlands from where the stage heads down into the beautiful canyons of the Rudron river. Following ancient trails the stage heads up and down the steep canyon sides passing several beautiful medieval villages until it passes by the 6 thousand year old Dolmen megalith called “Valdemuriel” before crossing some open moorland  and finally begining the descent into the stunning Noble Village of Sedano.

 

The Legend of Rodrigo's Treasure, the Last Visigoth King

Second Stage: 51km from the Stunning Noble Village of Sedano to the medieval town of Poza De la Sal

The collapse of the Roman Empire laid open Hispania to the various invading tribes from Northern Europe and Africa but Spain was finally taken over by the Visigoths of Germanic origin. The Visigoths brought two hundred years of relative peace and in the process accumulated great wealth and treasures while establishing their Capital in Toledo. The prophecy spoke of the “cave of Hercules” not only where the vast treasures were kept but also where the destiny of Spain lay safe whilst every successive King continued the ritual of adding a new lock to the door. In 710 AD the noble Rodrigo became King and instead of adding a new lock decided to break the existing ones and entered the chamber to find a depiction of the slaying of the Visigoths and the conquest of Spain by the North African invaders. Within a year king Rodrigo was dead and defeated by Tariq Ibn Ziyad, the Commander at the service of the Umayyad Caliphate, who chased the remaining Visigoth nobles who had fled northwards with the vast treasures.

The Legend has it that Tariq finally caught the last of the Visigoths at their fortress in Amaya in Northern Burgos, here he slay them all and took the coveted treasure before turning west towards Leon to complete the conquest of Spain. However yet again just like their predecessors had done 730 years before some local noble families took what they could of the treasure and disappeared into the steep canyons and high valleys of the Ebro River. Very soon thereafter early medieval towns appeared along these valleys with enormous wealth, building Temples and Castles and setting the foundation for the reconquest of Spain.

Stage 2 leaves the village of Sedano following a  trail down stream through a lush forest past several  beautiful medieval villages till it reaches Valdelateja where the stage climbs steeply up past the impressive cliff hanging Visigoth Shrine and then up and down several more canyon sides before reaching the high moorland where the stage passes the 4500 year old Neolithic Dolmen called “las Arenillas”, then the stage crosses the high windswept plateaus of Masa and finishes with a beautiful long descent passing through the medieval castle of Poza de la Sal just before arriving at Camp 2 very close to the town. 

 

The Legend of Fratricidal Battle of Atapuerca in 1054 A.D.

Third stage: 47.5km from the medieval town of Poza de la Sal to the historic village of Olmos de Atapuerca

Immediately after the Moorish invasion of Spain, the small unconquered tribes of the northern mountains were reunited under the Asturian King Pelayo and began fighting back the North African invaders with a famous victory at the battle of Covadonga. For several hundred years the different kings of Galicia, Asturias, Leon, Castilla, Navarra and Aragon advanced and retreated repopulating the reconquered territories and consolidated their kingdoms through castles, marriages and war. So it came to be that Ferdinand I, king of Leon and his brother Garcia Sancho III, King of Pamplona were at war and their armies met at the frontier of their kingdoms near the village of Atapuerca in the North East of Burgos. Ferdinand moved his army into enemy territory apparently beginning the battle, but even though it had never been his intention his brother was killed, of course he jumped on the opportunity and seized the victory and proclaimed himself the first “Imperator Totius Hispaniae” Emperor of all Spain.

The legend has it that the two brothers had only intended to meet on neutral territory to discuss certain territorial differences but their two respective armies hardened by years of waging war against the Moors and with their courage laced with good local wine, inevitably began with accusations of slander and ended with a dead King. Either way the legendary battle of Atapuerca in the North East of Burgos resulted in the beginning of a succession of Kings that later resulted in the creation of a great Empire.

Stage 3 begins at the stunning village of Roman origin called Poza de la Sal and heads south along a wide track through the unique landscape of “Las Torcas”. The stage passes through many small villages as it crosses some very remote frontier lands. Towards the end of the stage the route passes some very exposed high plains where the stage coincides with the Via Italia, a 2000 year old Roman road. The stage ends at the lively village of Olmos de Atapuerca which is now not only a significant stop on the Camino the Santiago but has come to great fame with the finding of prehistoric hominid remains nearby at the Archaeological site of World heritage fame.

 

The Legend of Saint Millan, the Hermit Warrior, Patron Saint of Castile

Fourth Stage: 52.5km from the medieval battle fields of Atapuerca to the mountain village of Pineda de la Sierra.

In all the religions of the world as the incipient faiths or philosophies spread out and grew roots the figure of the hermit emerged. These were individuals who lead an ascetic and solitary form of life focused on prayer and meditation. They were often sought out for spiritual advice and counsel and were considered holy as they were the practitioners of the purest form of their respective religions. In the Six Century AD a young priest, son of a Sheppard, took up the ascetic hermit life style in the exuberant forests of the “Sierra de la Demanda” mountain range in the East of Burgos. The hermit Millan carved out a cell in a rock and lived there in solitude for forty years till his death at the age of 101. He was well known and had many followers, at times he was so sought after that he had to venture deeper into the mountains to find peace and tranquility. He was buried in the cell in which he had lived and for centuries his sepulcher became a place of worship and pilgrimage. Millan was an extremely admired and venerated ascetic hermit of the Visigoth Era.

Many Centuries later however the Legendary Saint Millan reappeared at the crucial battle of Simancas in 939 AD where King Ramiro II of Leon and his allies were fighting a losing battle against Abderraman III Emir of the Califate of Cordoba. The Legend has it that Saint Millan appeared mounted on a white horse and wearing his hermit gown killing many enemy soldiers with his sword and changing the fate of the battle. Due to this legendary battle victory and other miracles, San Millan had a huge monastery built in his name where his remains were put to rest and was proclaimed the Patron of Castile and also had the highest peak in this mountain range named after him.

Stage 4 heads backwards along the Camino de Santiago past the Monastery of San Juan de Ortega before heading through a beautiful forest directly towards the mountains, from the village of Alarcia it begins a steady climb to the top of the Trigaza peak and then along a rugged trail it reaches the top of the San Millan  peak before heading sharply down the south side of the mountain to the village of Pineda de la Sierra.

 

The Legend of "El Cid," Mercenary Knight and Epic Hero

Fifth Stage: 42km from the mountain village of Pineda de la Sierra to the Monastery of San Pedro Cardeña.

The Noble Knight Rodrigo Diaz was born not far from the city of Burgos. He earned great fame fighting alongside the Kings of Castile in the middle of the 11th Century however he had several disputes with the ruling King as he often in battle acted alone or disrespecting the Kings wishes and thus he was exiled on two occasions and had no choice but to became a mercenary often fighting with or against the Caliphate’s Armies. Rodrigo Diaz was named “el Cid” by the Moors as he begun to conquer cities and territories in Al Andalus of his own accord without the blessing of any King. Infact he independently conquered the Mediterranean City of Valencia in 1094 and proclaimed himself Prince Rodrigo Campeador “El Cid”. Before he died he had cleverly married his two daughters to very prominent nobles thus assuring his blood line in the Spanish Royal lineage.

The Legendary “El Cid” is one of the most popular Spanish epic heroes and even more so in Burgos. Although there is a lot of controversy over his motivations and feats there is no doubt about his legendary talent on the battle field and thus his given title of “el Campeador” which literally means expert in open battle field tactics. Legendary is also the almost never ending journey made by his bones after his death. Initially he was buried in Valencia, however two years later his remains where taken by his wife to the Monastery of San Pedro Cardeña in Burgos. There he was changed place on several occasions over the centuries before been taken in 1808  by Napoleon’s soldiers during the war of independence and buried in the city of Burgos. He was reburied in the same monastery a few years later and then moved back to the town hall after the sacking of the monastery in 1842. Finally in 1921 his remains were buried with those of his wife in the Cathedral of Burgos.

Stage 5 starts at the village of Pineda de la Sierra and leaves the mountains along a disused railway line through a beautiful forest along the edge of two large lakes, then it passes some small villages and climbs up and down a couple of small hills before finally reaching the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña.

 

The Legendary Camino de Santiago

Sixth stage: 13km from the Cistercian Monastery of San Pedro Cardeña to the World heritage site of the Burgos Cathedral.

The Camino de Santiago has its origins in pre-Roman times when people of the Celtic tribes made their way from Northern Spain, France and the far reaches of Northern Europe to Finisterre “Land´s End”, on the coast of Galicia. These people intensely connected with nature and its cycles, venerated the sun and the moon and in search for a profound spiritual experience walked to the furthest most westerly point in Main Land Europe on the Costa do Morte and watched the sunset “Death of the sun” over the endless waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The story continues during the Roman occupation of Hispania, when James the Great, one of the original apostles, preached and lived in Galicia for a while before returning to Palestine in 44AD where he was beheaded by King Herod becoming the first apostle to be martyred. The Legend has it that his remains where brought back by boat to Galicia by his followers and buried somewhere inland. Much later in the early 9th Century the legend says that a hermit found the remains of Saint James and with the blessing of the Pope Carlo Magno the pilgrimage route to venerate his sepulcher was established. Throughout the middle ages the Camino de Santiago was extensively travelled, becoming not only a pilgrimage route but also a communications highway and more importantly a well established frontier between the Arabic Caliphates and the Roman Catholic Kingdoms. By the 15th Century however the convulsive sociopolitical situation in Europe left the pilgrimage route in serious decline.

The Camino de Santiago became internationally well known again when it was declared a World Heritage Site and European Cultural route in the 1990´s. The Pilgrimage path has reclaimed its legendary status over the last few decades by establishing itself as a modern spiritual journey for people of many cultures and creeds. Its popularity is rapidly increasing and it is estimated that 500,000 people from all over the world will be completing the pilgrimage in 2016.

Stage 6 leaves due west from the Monastery of San Pedro Cardeña and follows its outer walls down towards the River Arlanzon where it joins the “Camino de Santiago” and follows the popular route along the river right up to the Cathedral steps in the centre of Burgos.