The XX Diagonale des Fous will be launched today at 20h -local time in Spain- to cover 170km and a vertical climb of 10.845 meters crossing the full length of the Reunion Island. In the history of the race, only two non-french runners have ever achieved victory here. This 2012 there are three spaniards among the favorites: Kilian Jornet, who already won here back in 2010, together with newcomers Iker Karrera and Nerea Martínez. Best of luck to all the 2.700 brave souls that will tackle this very tough challenge at the Grand Raid Reunion.
GRAND RAID REUNION 2012: THREE RACES. 18-21oct12
The 20th edition of Le Grand Raid (la Diagonale des Fous), – 162km, 9643m+ – will take place on October from 18th to 21st 2012. The 13th edition of the Trail de Bourbon – 93km, 4920m+ – will be staged on the same week end, 20th and 21st of October and the Mascareignes, 2nd edition, 61km, 3036m+, on 20th october 2012.
The Grand Raid Reunion has been since its birth a fantastic physical challenge and those who dare it have got to be extraordinary athletes to tackle the course with real options. From start to finish the trail runners are to climb 5 peaks culminating at about 2000m ( the highest point being 2411m high!). They will skirt volcanos, touch the sky on crest paths overlooking deep ravines, the cirque of Cilaos, they are to walk through Mafate and waddle ankle deep in the mud of the Kerveguen forest.
The Grand Raid Reunion has become a myth among endurance challenges the world. Nevertheless, out of the initial 2700 entries or so, about 70% make it to the finish. A tribute to the runners solid physical and mental preparation before the race. The winner completes the race in about 22 hours while the last finisher is allowed up to 64.
KILIAN JORNET: Top favorite for 2012.
After a 30-hour journey straight from Malaysia, where he won his fourth Skyrunning World Championship, Jornet will take part in the Diagonale des Fous, a 162 km-race with a total climb of 9,643 m., which will mark the end of the trail running season. Jornet already knows what it’s like to win the Diagonal des Fous, as he won the race in 2010.
Kilian Jornet travelled from Malaysia to Reunion Island, where he will put an end to his season by participating in the demanding ultra trail of the Diagonale des Fous 2012, which this year holds a special course of 170km with a total climb of 10,845 m. A most demanding challenge to end the season.
Jornet already knows what it’s like to compete in Reunion Island, as he won the race in 2010. “I have wonderful memories of Reunion. I remember the race, the countryside, and the people. The welcome I received there was extremely warm and that has remained in my heart.”
Regarding the race, which is 10 Km longer this year, Jornet thinks that, “The route will be special, 10km longer, with a very hard stretch on the way through Mafate. It’s a long technical route, with high temperatures and constant temperature changes. It’s not easy to feel comfortable.”
In this final challenge of the season, Kilian will meet great rivals, as he himself states. “The level of the participants is going to be really high, with runners such as Eric Clavery and locals like Didier Mussard, Thierry, Didier Lanne or Antoine, but I think the toughest opponent will be Iker Carrera, who never fails in his aims. He is consistently reliable.”
The Diagonale des Fous is a special race, with an entire island watching the event. “The warmth of the onlookers is special. Throughout the race old women will offer the runners rice and sweet potatoes, groups of young people climb up to cheer you on and there are thousands of people all over the mountains.”
GRAND RAID REUNION – 20th Edition presentation video
DIAGONALE DES FOUS: Champions 1989-2011
FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING & RUNNERS FROM SPAIN.