The festival of Templiers (Knights Templar) is one of the most famous Trail events in France. Over the past 15 year, the Trail of Templiers (70 km and + 3 200 m) has become more and more popular. From 395 finishers in 1995 to more than 1,900 in 2009. Other races has been added up over the years; la Templière (8,6 km and +280 m), la VO2 Trail (19,5 and +830m), the Marathon des Causses (40 km and +1 500 m), the Kinder Trail (3 km), the Trail du Viaduc (19,8 km and +596 m) and the Endurance Ultra Trail (111 km and 4 590 meters of ascent).
In 2010 almost 7000 runners met in Millau to participate to these Trails of Templiers.
The Endurance Ultra Trail of Templiers is the longest race of the Templiers Festival: 111 km and 4 590 m of ascent. This year, the race started from Millau and offered and outstanding trail through the Causse Noir, Gorges du Tarn, Gorges de la Jonte and Gorges de la Dourbie. See the map below.
There are 5 food stations (ravito in French) with a time limit for each of them:
Peyreleau (25,5 km and +750 m) at 8h
St Rome de Dolan (39,4 km and +1 750 m) at 11h10
Veyreau (69 km, +3 180 m) at 17h10
La Roque Ste Marguerite (83 km, +3 465 m) at 20h20
la Ferme Le Cade (97,5 km, +4 350m) at midnight
More than 555 runners took the start of this 4th edition but only 360 passed the finish line. Thomas Saint Girons won (11h40m57s) in front of Renaud Rouanand (12h35m01s) and Florant Racinand (12h44m20s). Véronique Chastel (12h44m20s) is the first woman and 17th overall.
Philippe Gatta who was doing his first Ultra trail this year after his expedition on Ama Dablam (6856m) ranked 114th in 17h59m58.
Intermediate times: Rozier: 470th, 3h11. St Rome: 328th, 5h21. Veyreau: 183rd, 10h46. La Roque: 160th, 13h23.
1) From Millau (start) to Peyreleau: 25.6 km / +750 m
The Endurance Trail starts at Millau at 4am. The Trail crosses the Tarn, passes Carbassas (487 m) and climb in the forest of the Causse Noir. This ascent is steep with +340 m in less than 2 km. Then the trail is relatively flat over 7 km before descending to the villages of Peyreleau and Rosier (1st food station). Overall this first part is technically easy.
2) From Peyreleau to St-Rome-de-Dolan: 12.8 km / +1 000 m
After le Rozier (403 m), the trail goes up to the GR du Pays du tour du Sauvetterre and passes through the Eglazines and great cirque of St Marcellin (749 m, 31 km). Then it follows the plateau above the Gorges du Tarn to the village of St-Rome-de-Dolan (2nd food station, 851 m).
3) From St-Rome-de-Dolan to Veyreau: 29.6 km / +1 430 m
After St Rome we go up to Lou Bons (41st km) before going down by 500 m toward the GR 6 to the village of Les Vignes (44.5 km). The climb on the other side of the Gorges du Tarn is as steep, +470 m in 2,5 km. We go along the villages of Bruel and Bourgarie before reaching the most beautiful section of the race; a narrow trail above the cliff over the Gorges du Tarn (between 51st to 56th km).
Then we join the GR 6 of Causse Méjan running thru Cassagnes, Arcs de St Pierre to Viale (884 m, water station, 61.7 km). The trail descends to the Douzes (66th km) in the Gorges de la Jonte. Another climb follows for 400 m over 3 km to reach Veyreau (883 m, 3rd food station).
4) From Veyreau to La Roque Ste Marguerite: 14 km / +285 m
From Veyreau the trail goes toward the South-East along the GR 62A and passes through St-André-de-Vézines (74.5 km). Then it continues along the Causses to the ruins of Chateau de Montméjant and the Corniche du Rajol; 3 fantastic kilometers. Three kilometers later, we reach the village of la Roque Ste Marguerite close to the river of Dourbie (404 m, 4th food station).
5) From La Roque Ste Marguerite to the farm Cade: 14.6 km / +885 m
The first 6 km after la Roque Ste Marguerite are more technical with 2 steep climbs. Again we join the GR 62 at around 90 km. We pass along the Longuier and then the farm le Cade (97.8 km, 826 m, 5th food station).
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