In 15 days’ time I'll be lined up
on the start line of my toughest challenge yet - the 20th running of the Grand
Raid de la Réunion.
La Diagonale des Fous (the diagonal of madmen), this 100 miler cuts a diagonal
course from south to north across the Indian Ocean island
of Réunion. The extremely technical 162km route boasts it all, from volcanoes
and volcanic craters (calderas), to dense forest, mud, rivers, waterfalls, altitude,
heat and humidity, this race is about distance, difficulty and digging
said to be one of the toughest 100 milers on the planet. Results of previous
years provide a stark comparison with equally well established but far more
runnable 100 milers on the international calendar, like Western States and
Leadville, and put this one into perspective: in 2011 Kilian Jornet won the
WS100 in 15:34, and yet it took him more than seven hours longer to win the
Grand Raid the previous year (23:17). That really says it all!
a scary prospect, and I’m frighteningly excited – this promises to be trail running at