Version française

Ultra Distance & Trails Running: 5 races around the World

Philippe in Amazonia (© P. Gatta).
Philippe in Amazonia (© P. Gatta)

Introduction

After have run 50,000 km (31,075 miles) around the world, Philippe presents several ultra distance races.

Ultra distance and Trail in Mountain: Ultra distance and Trail in deserts: Others Ultra distance and Trail races:

Ultra distance races and Trails map (Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech).
Ultra distance races and Trails map (Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Guyane Raid Amazonie: Amazonia rain forest, French Guiana

The Guyane Raid Amazonie is a 6 days race taking place in Amazonia (French Guiana). Six stages of 20 km, 23 km, 24 km, 26 km, 37 km and 20 km. Half of them are in the deep rainforest where runners have sometimes to cross rivers and swamps. The trail is made only a few weeks before the race.


Race Information:

End of the 40 km stage in the jungle (© P. Gatta)
End of the 40 km stage in the jungle (© P. Gatta)

Last stage of the Guyane Raid Amazonie (© P. Gatta)
Last stage of the Guyane Raid Amazonie (© P. Gatta)

Diagonale des Fous: La Reunion Island

La Reunion is a beautiful island located in the Indian ocean off the coast of Mauritius. The Diagonale des Fous is also called Grand Raid of la Réunion. It's an ultra non-stop race of 125 km and 8,000 meters of total ascent. The race starts at Langevin, crosses the volcano Piton de la Fournaise, and three calderas: Cilaos, Malfate and Salazie to finish at Saint Denis.


Race Information:

La Réunion (© P. Gatta)
La Réunion (© P. Gatta)

La Réunion (© P. Gatta)
La Réunion (© P. Gatta)

La Réunion (© P. Gatta)
La Réunion (© P. Gatta)

La Réunion (© P. Gatta)
La Réunion (© P. Gatta)

Guadarun: Guadeloupe Island

Guadarun is an adventure raid taking place in the Guadeloupe archipelago. During the 6 days of race, the runners can enjoy multiple sceneries of the various islands: Grande-Terre, la Désirade, Marie-Galante, Basse-Terre and Les Saintes. Of course, the trails are also very different from one island to the other; sand, mud, rocks, forest and beaches.


Race Information:

Guadarun (© P. Gatta)
Guadarun (© P. Gatta)

Bivouac on the beach (© P. Gatta)
Bivouac on the beach (© P. Gatta)

Guadarun, stage in forest (© P. Gatta)
Guadarun, stage in forest (© P. Gatta)

Guadarun (© P. Gatta)
Guadarun (© P. Gatta)

Iditasport: Alaska, USA

Iditasport is Ultra-race taking place in Alaska in winter, along the famous Iditarod trail (dog sled race). Iditasport has 3 different divisions: foot, ski and bike. There are also three options for the distance: the traditional Iditasport 130 miles (210 km), which goes from Knik to Finger Lake. Time limit is 4 days. The Iditasport Extreme runs 350 miles up to McGrath. Time limit is 10 days. The Iditasport Impossible runs 1100 miles up the entire Iditarod Trail to Nome. Time limit is 40 days.

The competitors have to be self sufficient; they have to pull in a sled with their gear, tent, sleeping bag, clothe, food, stove…for the entire length of the race. The race is pretty committed with very few marks along the trail, long distance between the lodges and no rescue team.

In February 2001, Philippe participated to the Iditasport 130 in the foot division. With the hope to run the 210 km, he didn't take any snowshoe and used instead normal trail running shoes with big and warm socks protected by full GoreTex gaiters. The race started in fairly good conditions with very cold but clear and dry conditions. Unfortunately the weather changed quickly into a storm which lasted several days. The temperature dropped to -35ºC and the trail was covered by a meter (3 feet) of fresh snow. After two days in the blizzard and 90 km covered, he met two moose hunters on snow-machine decided to stop the race.


Race Information:

Iditasport start (© P. Gatta)
Iditasport start (© P. Gatta)

Storm coming on Yentna river and Denali (© P. Gatta)
Storm coming on Yentna river and Denali (© P. Gatta)

Laugavegurinn: Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Laugavegurinn is a beautiful and famous trail in Iceland. It starts at Landmannalaugar and finishes at Þórsmörk. Instead of stopping at Þórsmörk, it is possible to continue to Skogar which offers great view over the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and Skógafoss (70m high waterfall). From Landmannalaugar to Skogar, Philippe measured 86 km and 2,785 m of total ascent.


Trail Information:

Landmannalaugar seen from Blahnukur (© P. Gatta)
Landmannalaugar seen from Blahnukur (© P. Gatta)

Snow just after Hrafntinnusker (© P. Gatta)
Snow just after Hrafntinnusker (© P. Gatta)

Running toward Álftavatn (© A. Gatta)
Running toward Álftavatn (© A. Gatta)

Arrival at Skogar, Skogafoss (© P. Gatta)
Arrival at Skogar, Skogafoss (© P. Gatta)


|   YouTube|   RSS