Grand Raid Réunion – stage 12 Ultra-Trail World Tour 2016
The Diagonale des Fous has driven once again Reunion island crazy!
For the 3rd time, the Ultra-Trail World Tour season ends with the amazing Grand Raid and its most famous distance, the Diagonale des Fous (“Diagonal of crazy people”).
The annual champions were already known as Caroline Chaverot had scored the maximum of points and could not be caught up by Andrea Huser, and Pau Capell, the only runner able to take the lead back from Gediminas Grinius was not racing in Reunion.
But many elite athletes were present at the start line of the Diagonale: François D’Haene, 2-time winner of the race and UTWT 2014 winner, Antoine Guillon, 9-time finisher of the race and UTWT 2015 winner, Gediminas Grinius, leader of the UTWT ranking this year, but also Javier Dominguez Ledo, Ryan Sandes, Sangé Sherpa, Erik Clavery, Patrick Bohard, Sébastien Camus, Jordi Gamito, Freddy Thevenin. In the women’s race, Andrea Huser was on the line along with Juliette Blanchet, Emma Roca, Alexandra Clain, Marcelle Puy, the local hero.
Every year, the Diagonale des Fous is welcomed by the people of Reunion as one of the most important events of the year. All the local radios, TVs and newspapers cover the race live and thousands of people are attending the start of the race on the Thursday night in Saint Pierre (south of the island).
167km and 9700m of elevation gain later, the runners need to reach the Stade de la Redoute in Saint Denis (north of the island) in maximum 66 hours. This is 3 nights on the course for the last finishers!
The race was really interesting to follow. Meghan Hicks from iRunFar, provided a super race report, telling you everything about this race!
Taking the lead from the beginning, François D’Haene resisted to Antoine Guillon’s pressure behind him to win the Diagonale for the 3rd time in his career. Javier Dominguez Ledo takes the 3rd place and jumps to the 2nd position of the Ultra-Trail World Tour ranking.
In the women’s race, Andrea Huser finished her amazing season with a 3rd victory on the Ultra-Trail World Tour. On the 12 races of the UTWT competition, 6 were won by Caroline Chaverot, our champion, and Andrea Huser, her dauphin. What a battle between these 2! Juliette Blanchet and Emma Roca complete the podium in Reunion.
But the Diagonale des Fous it is also the challenge of hundreds of amateurs, aiming to reach the finish line to become officially finishers! After almost 66 hours, the arrival of the 4 last finishers was an incredible moment.