Sometimes injuries are opportunities and this was certainly the case with Pau Capell. Having sustained a serious injury playing soccer in 2012 – where he damaged his knee and ligaments, the doctors suggested that he run and train in the mountains to help with the recovery and strengthen the muscles. This is where his trail running career began.
Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain
How do I focus
What inspires you?
The drive to Improve for every race and be the best, although it’s not easy and sometimes you can’t achieve more than the race before, it’s what drives me forward.
Words to live by
Fight for your goal, but love what you have.
Favourite other fitness exercise
I don’t leave home without my...
Top 5 career highlights
- 2nd Transgrancanaria 125km (2022)
- 1st Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls 100km (2021)
- 1st Transgrancanaria 125km (2020)
- Ultra Trail World Tour Champion (2019)
- Ultra Trail World Tour Champion (2018)
Like many other Spanish children, Pau grew up dreaming of playing professional football. And he actually came pretty close. But that dream was shattered in 2012 when he sustained a football-career-ending knee injury. For active rehab, his doctor recommended trail running. And just a few months later a new dream was being hatched. The following year, Pau competed in his first trail race and won. He then followed it up with a time of 2.58 in the Barcelona Marathon.
But Pau felt these distances weren’t enough. In 2014, he started to compete regularly in ultra-running events. He found he excelled the longer the distance and the tougher the race, and in 2014 he stormed to victory in the Ultra Sierra Nevada (103km) and in the Ultra Trail Mallorca (112km). He’s won the Transgrancanaria Classic four times. He’s taken the top spot at the Eiger Ultra Trail, the Patagonia 100 Miler and the TDS Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. But his biggest personal victory came in 2019 when he won the UTMB in a record-breaking time of 20 hours and 19 minutes over the 171km distance, and the win earned him the ultra running world title.
Outside of competition, Pau continues to seek personal challenges such as Run For the Arctic and Breaking 20.