The final leg of the 2014 Ultra-Trail®World Tour
Race feature: The up-coming Grand Raid of Reunion Island/ Diagonale des Fous is the final counter in the 2014 Ultra-Trail®World Tour (UTWT)
After his latest victory in the UTMB®, one of the races in The North Face® Ultra-Trail of Mont Blanc®, François d’Haene (Solomon Isles) is the big favourite for taking the first place in the Ultra-Trail®World Tour. With two successive wins (Ultra-Trail® Mont Fuji- Japan and UTMB®), François is really hoping to meet the challenge of adding a third victory in the final event of the season… and with it the title of 2014 Ultra-Trail®World Tour winner!
Ryan Sandes (RSA), who has run three races in the series (coming first in the TNF Transgrancanaria, second on the Ultra-Trail® Mt Fuji- Japan, and fifth at the Western States Endurance Trail) is still in the lead of the rankings, but has not announced whether he will participate in the Diagonale des fous.
The French WAA team of Antoine Guillon, Christophe Le Saux and Cyril Cointre, can also claim a place as they have accumulated points through their participation in the series events and their regular placings in the first 10. The Lithuaniann Gediminas Grinius, at present second in the general rankings, has not registered for this final leg.
Among the ladies, the group up front, lead by Nuria Picas (ESP), Fernanda Maciel (BRA) and Francesca Canepa (ITA), has not yet registered for the Diagonale des Fous. The American Rory Bosio, who won The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail and the UTMB®, is also absent. France’s Nathalie Mauclair, winner of the Diagonale in 2013 and on the third step of the podium at the 2014 Western States Endurance Trail and on the UTMB®, is really counting on repeating her feat and climbing up the rankings!
About the 10th and final leg of the UTWT 2014 : Grand Raid Réunion La Diagonale des Fous – October 23-26, 2014
Imagine running 8 marathons in a row… This is what the finishers of the “Diagonale des Fous” accomplish.
When finishers are awarded their medal and their yellow T-shirt “I have survived”, they will have climbed 9,000m. The Grand Raid is a physical challenge and those who attempt it are accomplished sportsmen and women.
From the start, right until the end of the race, competitors pass five peaks of around 2,000m (the highest being at 2,411 m), they will have walked on the volcano, touched the sky along the craters and above the ravines, the Cilaos circus, Malfate, and confronted the mud of the forests of Kerveguen.
Out of the 2,500 starters, only 70% will see the finish. The winner will take around 20 hours, while the finishers have a maximum of 64 hours to arrive at the Stadium of La Redoute at Saint-Denis!
Runners invited to the Diagonale des fous
As with all the other legs, some elites from all over the world have been invited. The l’Ultra-Trail® World Tour, with help from the organisation, is financing the air tickets for three athletes: Javier Dominguez (ESP) Jason Schlarb (USA) and Tsuyoshi Kaburaki (JAP).