Wendy: Four excited and slightly crazy athletes head to Reunion for a competition.

Alexandre Bouchet, Gael Bachelot, Julien Fertilet, Sebastien Brosseau
Alexandre Bouche, Gael Bachelot, Julien Fertilet, Sebastien Brosseau. ©

They are four people from the Triathlon and Athletics Club of Saint-Jean-de-Monts who took part in La Diagonale des Faus in Reunion from 20 to 23 October 2022. This is an ultra trail: 10217 meters of positive and negative elevation differences are run over a distance of 165 km. The race leaves from Saint-Pierre in the south of the island at 9pm on October 20 and crosses the entire island through cirques, peaks and ramparts. Finishing in Saint Denis at La Redoute Stadium. It is the world’s most legendary ultra-trail and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

The event is called the Grand Raid and consists of 4 races including La Diagonale des Fosse with a relay attended by Denis Brogniard. It brings together between 7 and 8,000 people, including 3,000 in a race where Montois participates. Before they left, they were met by Le Courier Vendeen.

childhood dream

“It is a very selective race and getting your number is very complicated. You have to do selection race to get points. All four of us have participated in more than 80 km circuits. This gave us entry into the draw for the match at Reunion. We do four or five races a year and the last gathering was the endurance trail in Milo. We’ve been working on it for a year and we got the bibs in January. It’s a dream that has been running since I was young, I’m 24 years oldE Ultras,” declares Alexandre Bouche with great enthusiasm.

40% drop out

This is a race where 40% are abandoned. It is done without rods to protect the environment and the trails. The first arrival takes 24 hours and the last 66 hours. Bibs have chips to follow runners with access to a supply every 15km. There are three life bases namely 72 km, 120 km and arrival. The change in temperature is 30 degrees during the day and 0 degrees at night. There will be five departure points for 600 people between 9pm and 9:40pm. 45 countries will be brought together. Access to Lives is possible thanks to follow-ups with bibs. Runners should have in their bags: headlamp, ID, survival blanket, whistle, 1.5 liters of water, food supply, spare battery for phones and bands in case of injury. A bag of 3 to 5 kg.

“I’m saved, I’m mad”

“We are going youngest and oldest as Alexander is 28 and I just celebrated my 50th birthday. This run is definitely a dream and I have ten ultras to my credit. I don’t think I’ll do another one after this race, I’m slowing down,” said Sébastien Brosseau.

You should know that the first and the last are welcomed in the same way. Nothing to win but a t-shirt that says “I Survived, I’m Crazy.” The Montois runners set off from Saint-Jean-de-Monts on 15 October.

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