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Trail.  When the Fools tell their Diagonale – Trail
La Diagonale des Fous, from Thursday to Sunday

  • 1. Are they really crazy?
  • Maël Nivinou (Pont-Scorff): ” Yes. They are crazy ! You have to be to go for 160 km with 10,000 m of vertical drop, and temperatures that can drop from 40 to 0 ° C (felt -4 ° C in 2019) … But you don’t go crazy like that. You have to finish the race to become one. Once you are, the people there respect you a lot. The next day, I was applauded as I walked through the street, only because I had finished the race (1051st out of 28,000). The body is damn good to take it. It’s survival. You go through all the emotions, from crying to laughter. Pink elephants are not a legend. Hallucinations, I had them ”.

    David Hello (Rédéné): “It goes up to 2,000 meters, which is not high enough to have altitude disorders, but it is the repetitions of the climbs and descents that weigh heavily. For our family, yes, we are crazy ”.

    Pierre Le Tortorec (Locmalo): “I have the impression that it has become common to run 160 km races. Some are much more difficult, like the Tor des Géants with 300 km. The world of trails has evolved a few years ago, when you were doing a marathon, you were a long-distance runner. 100 km away, you were crazy. Now, 160 terminals is almost trivial. So I don’t feel like I’m that crazy. I see it more as a big walk in privileged places. “

  • 2. Why they go
  • MN: “La Diagonale was my dream. Me, I am a former high level cyclist (1st category). I had the opportunity to do the Reunion Island Cycling Tour twice, which takes place just before the Diagonale, and I realized an enormous enthusiasm. The island stops for this race. Every year, I saw the departure – often on France Télévisions – which lasted an hour or an hour and a half. I was like wow! It’s a crazy thing ! I told myself that one day I will do it. In 2019, I slowed down the bike a bit and I said to myself, life is too short: I’m going… ”

    DH: “What my friends told me made me want to go, the landscapes, of course, but also the emotions, the arrival at the stadium at La Redoute… It’s mythical. And then there is a historical side. Before, the slaves – the Maroons – would go to the heights – to escape. Each of the Circuses bears the name of a former slave. It’s a beautiful story, and then it’s an adventure, all the same. You cross the island of Reunion, 160 km on the menu, and you have 66 hours to do it. It’s the hardest race in the world because it’s not flat: there are 10,000 meters of vertical drop (9,400 elevation gain) with the Mafate circus, the only one in the world where you cannot enter and exit only on foot or by helicopter. “

    Guillaume Derrien (Pluneret): “It’s an atmosphere that you can’t find anywhere else. There is a real enthusiasm that I have never felt in other races. There are people all along the route. “

  • 3. Why they are going back
  • Guillaume Georget (Caudan): “It’s not something we do every year, but I see that everyone who’s been there is going back. It means something ! “

    MN: “I was 38th around km 65 but no luck, I got crow’s feet syndrome. It is an inflammation of the tendons. We can no longer bend the knee, we can no longer run. The motivation remains and we try to finish as we can (1051st in 2019). Now the goal is to make a top 100. “

    PLT: “It’s a great memory that makes you want to come back. It’s one of those legendary races with the UTMB, for example ”.

    GD: ” It’s particular. It’s in the sun, there is a holiday atmosphere. You can also enjoy the Island ”

  • 4. Are they afraid?
  • GG: “Those who have already made it warn us that it turns us upside down, body and head. Afterwards, when we do this kind of race, we are trained, ready to take. But it’s ultra, we dread a little. We try to control as well as possible… ”

    Christophe Guillemin (Le Trévoux): “I’ve been practicing ultra for a few years, but the goal here is simply to finish because this race is aptly named. You have to love to suffer. There are inevitably empty passages. We have to wait for it to pass. Sooner or later, it starts again and, once the line is crossed, it is only happiness and we forget everything. In the mountains, you have to be vigilant from the first to the last kilometer because there are always traps and ravines ”.

    GD: “It’s still an ultra, everything can happen from start to finish, even for the most trained. Whether it is for the first or the last, we will all have a difficult time. You never know what can happen. This is our apprehension. We try to foresee things as much as possible but there is always something unforeseen ”.

    MN: “I know where I am going but what I fear is Mafate because from Silaos to the exit of Mafate, I will have no assistance and I will be alone on the climb”.

  • 5. How much does it cost?
  • GD: “Us, we go to three. I took the package with three nights of hotels, a plane ticket and the bib. It takes 1,000 euros per person ”.

    CG: “It’s still a lot of sacrifice. And, you have to arrive fresh ”.

    GD: “There is a financial cost, but also a human cost. Preparation time is time that is not spent with family or others. It is also to be taken into account. “

    MN: “I was amazed in 2019. In Mafate, at three in the morning, in the middle of nowhere, I see a child, alone near a fire. And he hands me a candy. You can only see that there. I still have glitter in my eyes. And that is priceless “.

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