A trip for you

If you are into running and travel, we have the perfect trip plan for you!!! Our partner Lurbel ( is the main sponsor of three beautiful mountain running events in the South east part of Spain. So we have planned a fun trip for you, with plenty of suggestions, from sightseeing to places to stay for all budgets.

The first race of the year takes place at Calar del Rio Mundo on April 12, 2015. This event takes place in a National Park called Los Calares del Rio Mundo, an excellent location that offers a diverse botanical landscape and amazing waterfalls and views. If you would like to see a short documentary aired in Spanish Television please click here. The short is in Spanish and even if you don’t understand it well, you will be able to get a feel for the scenery offered by the event.

For hotels in Riopar, you must book well in advance. It is a very tiny town and the race brings several hundred people to town, so expect hotels to be fully booked. Hotels at Riopar are small (think of them as B&B) and the most recommendable is Hotel Riopar (3*). You may also want to explore the possibility of renting a house/villa for only about 60-100 euros per night, though you may find it for even less. The biggest city near Riopar is Albacete. It is about 115 km away and it will take you about an hour and a half to drive there. In Albacete you may find nicer hotels, like Hotel Santa Isabel, Gran Hotel, Beatriz Albacete Spa and Hotel Principe. The following link will take you to tripadvisor’s list of hotels in Albacete. Also, most Paradores are a good option (Paradores are a hotel chain owned by the state that are typically located in historic buildings, like monasteries, castles, palaces, etc). Here is their website

While the race will take you through some beautiful tracks, you may want to explore Riopar on your own. We suggest you visit the source of Rio Mundo, the caverns of Los Chorros, the waterfalls of Calar del Mundo and while in town you may want to stop by the San Juan de Alcaraz Museum that exhibits machinery from the Napoleanic Empire and a castle in the town center that dates back to the XIII century.

Ok, so after you have explored the tiny town of Riopar, which has only a population of about 1,500, what can you do in the area?

Just over a 3 hour drive is Madrid, the capital. There are plenty of things to do in Madrid and so many guides and tips available online that we will not waste our time with this one. Visit tripadvisor or go to Timeout’s article with top 20 things to do in Madrid. Recommendation number 2 on the list, visiting the many museums, cannot be emphasized enough. Museo del Prado is one of the top museums in the world.

We highly recommend Granada, and you could drive there through Jaen. We wouldn’t recommend you spend more than a day in Jaen, which is about a 2 and a half hour drive from Riopar. In Jaen you can visit the cathedral and the Castillo de Santa Catalina, as well as the arab baths. There are also the Jaen Museum with unfortunately most signs in Spanish, but yet worth a visit. Even if you are driving directly to visit Granada, which is a must in our opinion, you could stop by one of these Almazaras (oil presses). This is an incredible experience, a lot of them are open to the public and you can buy the best olive oil in the world (yes, it is the best in the world, you try it and be the judge). Here si the link to a variety of Almazaras.

The drive from Jaen to Granada is only about 1 hour (90 km), if you are driving directly from Riopar it should be a three and a half hour drive. Like we said before, Granada is a must. Here is alist of things to do in order of preference:

  1. The Alhambra and Generalife – This is by far the most visited monument in Spain. It was visited by President Clinton in 1997 and by Michelle Obama, US First Lady in 2010.
  2. A classic in all large Spanish Cities, the Cathedral and Royal Chapel. The Cathedral dates back to the XVI century and it is an architectural delight and a rich display of royal jewels and ornates from that century.
  3. Museo de las Cuevas de Sacromonte – In this museum ten caves have been recreated as they were a century ago. You will find a great display of the gypsy culture, traditional crafts, films and flamenco shows.
  4. Albaycin, Carrera del Darro – This is a point of interest, a cobblestone street along Rio Darro. It is safe anytime of the day and there are nice shops, bars (you must have some tapas), and other sights en route.

We hope our tips persuade you to take on your next race in Spain and make of it a beautiful and fun vacation as well. As a last recommendation, if you have never ran on the mountain, trust us when I say that once you do it you will be hooked forever and you may want to “ditch running on pavement”; although being a trail runner doesn’t mean you can’t still be a road runner. If you are used to running on pavement, the beauty and spirituality of running on a trail will take your mind and body to places they have never been. You will live moments with fellow runners/friends that you will cherish for a lifetime.

You must however take it easy on yourself. Make the enjoyment of your surroundings your immediate goal and remember that the demands of running on the mountain are higher and your body is probably not used to it. There is less oxygen the higher the altitude, you need the right shoes (include links), your ankles will probably become very sore, as the ground is not even, etc. If you would like to read some excellent tips on mountain running please check this article from Rock Creek Runner or runner’s world magazine.




I am going to make a bold prediction: compression garments will be worn by many top PGA tour players in just a few years. I played competitive golf growing up, varsity golf in college and still play about a 2 handicap.

I have been wearing running compression socks and compression arm sleeves while playing golf for little over 6 months now. The benefits and results I have observed are tremendous. By the way, I walk the course whenever possible…

How do compression socks help in golf? Well, in golf you spend typically over 4 hours standing up and walking or maybe even longer times if you take into account the warm up routine as well. Standing for prolonged periods of time is one of the many causes of foot, leg and ankle swelling. Compression stockings can be very helpful in controlling swelling when worn properly. I have worn these socks (compression socks) while playing or training for hours and I stopped having sore feet and legs. It also helps that the Lurbel trail running socks are built with cushioning and padding in the areas of the foot that receive the most friction. You would be surprised how much pressure and friction is experienced by the foot during a golf swing. Obviously the socks must be combined with a comfortable pair of golf shoes and, unless you want to be known as the “golfing clown”, I recommend you stay away from shorts and use pants while wearing the knee high socks…

The compression arm sleeves have helped me tremendously as well (compression arm sleeves). In golf it takes a few minutes of walking between shots, unfortunately sometimes you may have to even have to stay idle in between shots if the golf course’s pace of play is slow (I am a big advocate of the “while we are young” USGA campaign by the way). Regrettably when you stay inactive your muscles will cool down or may become tight. Controlled compression garments improve your blood circulation; hence your muscles receive more oxygen and remain warmer using less energy. I personally like the way the arm sleeves feel as well and the protection they offer from UV radiation from the sun.

Lastly, about the compression shirt, I honestly think the term is being used incorrectly by many companies. They must really mean ergonomic or tight fit rather than compression. Compression MUST be accurately measured and applied to the right body part, and typically that would be the extremities (arms and legs). I would be skeptical about companies that are trying to compress your torso with a shirt….

Wishing you a 2014 full of long and straight drives!!!

Luis C.



Short report about Vicente J. Garcia Beneito's, winner of the 4 Desert run series

News 12/28/2013

Vicente Garcia Beneito’s story is truly inspiring. He is a full time firefighter and he runs 16 km every day to get to work. He won the 4 Desert races in 2012, the first time in the history of the event that a runner won all four races the same year.

The event, which was named by Time magazine the world’s leading endurance footrace series or the ultimate test of human endurance, combines 4 races: The Atacama Crossing in Chile, The Gobi march (China), Sahara race (Egypt) and the last desert (Antarctica), a polar expedition. Proud to say that Vicente Garcia won all four races the same year and, of course, he was always wearing LURBEL.

I would say he had the best garments in the world and some “cojones”….





1800 km + 0 blisters = socks Lurbel Bmax: “I ran 1800 km with the same pair of socks and I did not have any blister”, explains Víctor Cerdà after his Camino Solidario (supportive path)
NEWS / 2013-10-22



Víctor Cerdà, member of the Lurbel solidarity team, has faced 1800 km, 30 uninterrupted running stages and very hot weather during his Path of Solidarity. It finished the 19th of October in the presence of thousands of supporters in the Serrano Towers in Valencia City.

The feat has raised almost 24.000 Euros through the platform. The funds will be used for the  research of rare diseases, in the National Year dedicated to raising awareness of rare disorders and diseases. This deed presented an important test for Lurbel in a race with many stages: “I used only one pair of socks Bmax Desafío during the whole race (we washed them with neutral soap after each stage). I wanted to know how much they would last without being changed by other ones. They have protected my feet and they have not caused any blisters, as well as they have endured the 1800 km”, reported Cerdà to Rafael Lurbe, the product manager, about the Lurbel material.

The athlete from Valencia was very impressed by the resistance and efficiency of the material, even more if we take into account the high temperatures during the race and the different terrains he passed through (asphalt, mountain, tracks, paths, etc.).

What is Bmax's secret?

The socks Bmax Desafío have a reinforced anatomy thanks to Lurbel's proprietary ergonomic system of protection ESP. This system protects the key areas of the foot where the friction with the footwear is higher and gives more durability to each pair of socks. These socks have been developed with the Bmax technology, which protects the foot from grazes and blisters, evacuates perspiration and maintains feet in perfect conditions regarding overheating and friction.














news / 2013-10-14

Both Lurbel and the anatomy of sole of foot, developed together with the Spanish Association of Sports Podiatry, make the difference of the Bmax range of products

The Spanish Association of Sports Podiatry, AEPODE, together with the R+D department of Lurbel, have developed an ergonomic structure of protection (ESP) for the whole range of Bmax socks. This structure improves the cushioning at every step and reinforces the sock by offering additional protection in the key areas of the foot, where the friction with the trainers, boots or cycling footwear is higher. 

Lurbel offers an ESP anatomy of the sole of foot specific in the range of products Bmax for running and trail running (Bmax Race, Distance, Desafío, Track, Trail Plus, Mountain, Desnivel and Altitud). The company also offers another one specific for the Bmax model of cycling Giro. The ESP anatomies are conceived in order to meet the needs of athletes. They have been designed having into account different factors: the footwear anatomy of each sport, the places where sports are practiced and the areas where the plantar foot pressure is applied in each case.

Left: Bmax Distance (running). Right: Bmax Giro (cycling)

In the image we can see the ergonomic system of protection ESP of each model. The reinforcement in the models running and cycling is located in the areas where the foot of the athlete has more friction.

ESP anatomy of the sole of foot. What is it?

The ESP anatomy of the sole of foot developed by AEPODE has an ergonomic structure with a protection system. This structure presents an additional reinforcement in the areas where the impact and the wear of the sock are higher: toe, heel and sole.

There is a specific ESP for the range of products for running, outdoor and trail running, and another one for cycling. 

ESP anatomy of the sole of foot. Improvements. 

ESP improves the cushioning of the footstep between a 25% and a 40%.

Moreover, it offers an additional care in the areas of the foot with greater rubbing, adding more Regenactiv where the friction with the trainers or cycling footwear is higher. 

In order that the concept ESP works perfectly, Bmax socks have different shape for right and left foot, and ESP gives total adaptability to each garment and avoids any movement of the foot within the footwear.



news / 2013-10-11

“I always choose Lurbel material during my international challenges, in any situation”, states Vicente Juan García, winner of the Grand2Grand Ultra

Vicente Juan García Beneito, known as the ‘King of the Deserts’ and the recent winner of the Grand2Grand Ultra of the USA, visited Lurbel to assess the material’s performance of the company that he chose personally before starting the most important survival race in the USA.

Vicente Juan states that the material you choose to run a self-sufficiency race is a key factor and part of the strategy to run any race: “you cannot make any mistakes”, claims the athlete from Villena (Alicante), “this is the reason why I trust in Lurbel products as I am sure they will not disappoint me”.

The ultra-distance runner highlighted the efficiency of the socks Bmax Distance, also the running model and another one of the main products of the Valencian company. García emphasized that he had no rubbings, blisters or stinging feet during the race. Moreover the socks were not worn or torn, in spite of the hard six stages of the Grand to Grand Ultra (50 km, 43 km, 84 km, 42 km, 42 km and 13 km). In fact, the athlete describes it as “the most difficult race regarding the terrain”.

Vicente Juan García only needed one pair of socks to successfully complete each stage. After that, he recovered with the model Recovery: a compression stocking long up to the knees, which helps to recover, accelerate the circulation and prepare the legs for a new stage. 

Alaska shirt

Finally, Vicente Juan highlighted the first layer shirt with long sleeves of the Alaska model: “It perfectly retains the heat. Most of the times, you only need to wear an ultra-light jacket on the outside. This shirt is compact and light weight, so it is perfect to keep in the survival luggage we normally carry”.


news / 2013-09-23

Vicente J. García, king of all the ultra-trail races, chooses Bmax and Regenactiv socks for his next challenge, in which he will go through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado

Vicente Juan García is the only athlete in history who has won the four races of the four deserts, called Grand Slam 4 Deserts, in the same year. From the 22nd to the 28th of September, he will be running the self-sufficiency race Grand to Grand Ultra, with 273 km, in North America, with Lurbel socks and compression stockings.

This material, chosen by the ultra-long distance runner, will be part of the survival kit in his backpack to go through the Grand Canyon. When he visited Lurbel, Vicente Juan said that the material you choose as your travel mate is crucial. It stands out because of its durability, protection and good response to adverse weather conditions. The athlete trusts in the Lurbel socks, as they are a key element in the backpack of this ‘King of the Deserts’ for his next adventure.

Bmax Track, Bmax Trail Plus, Regenactiv Trail Running and Recovery

The products that the ultra-distance runner from Alicante has chosen for this race are Bmax Track, Bmax Trail Plus and Regenactiv Trail Running

The first one belongs to the second Bmax generation, where Regenactiv was improved thanks to the ergonomic system of ESP protection (developed by the Spanish Association of Sports Podiatry). Its most important features are its protection and ergonomic design with reinforcements in areas that are most exposed to impact, specific for rough terrain.

On the other hand, Regenactiv Trail Running is completely developed with Regenactiv® technology, a patent exclusively distributed by Lurbel and with the Health Licence given by the Ministry of Health. For the long return flights, Vicente Juan has chosen the Recovery compression sock, which activates the blood supply during the transoceanic flights and improves the recovery after the effort during the return flights.




news / 2013-09-19

The adventurer Ray Zahab trusts in Lurbel for the race Grand to Grand Ultra, after the good feelings when he went through the Gobi and Mongolia desert

Ray Zahab is a world-renowned Canadian adventurer and ultra marathon runner who, thanks to his athlete career, supports and gives advice during the main ultra distance world events. He went through the Gobi and Mongolia desert in June, with the Aitana socks of Lurbel. The results were excellent and he had no blisters despite the environmental conditions. From the 22nd until the 28th of September he is present in the Grand to Grand Ultra as a reporter and giving advice to the organization of the event. He always trusts in Lurbel when he participates in these amazing events. 

Aitana and Trail Plus

During the 2000 km across the desert of Gobi and Mongolia the last month of June, Zahab chose the Aitana socks. But in the promotional video of the Grand to Grand Ultra we saw him with the compression stocking Trail Plus.