After the Diagonale: a little tourism on the Reunion island

Reunion Island: ocean, volcanoes and vanilla…

It has already been a week since the 13 runners of our “Million Steps” team crossed the finish line of the Diagonale des Fous, at the stade de La Redoute!!

The past week was therefore a week of recovery for everyone; by extending the Reunionese stay for some, or by slowly resuming the rhythm of daily life for others.

One thing is certain: the Diagonale des Fous experience will remain engraved in the bodies, of course, but also in the minds, thanks to the cohesion of our small team, the warmth of the Reunion Islanders and the beauty of the landscapes of this island.

The ocean and the volcanic shores

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Sunset over the Indian Ocean

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A lava flow… but the vegetation has not yet said its last word!
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Notre-Dame-des-Laves, spared by the lava flow of the Piton de la Fournaiseduring the 1977 eruption.

The smell of vanilla…

 

Tamils temples

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Gartens

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The little balls at the top of the branches are neither fruits nor leaves; they are the nests of weaverbirds!

Panoramas

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Mare à Boue
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Maïdo

✨ MILLION STEPS ✨ !!! They did it!! 🏆

“Awesome!!! 13/13”

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You are right, Aurélia!! It is AWESOME!!! All the runners of our “Million steps” team survived and got through the 166 km and 10,000 of altitude difference of the Diagonale des Fous!!! Congratulations to all, and especially to Julien C. and Marc who made great performances!!

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Congrats Julien C.!!!

No abandonment, no injuries!!! The 100% success of our team defies the statistics of this race which is generally announced with 30-40% of abandonment.

A brief look back at the arrival of our runners at the stadium of La Redoute.

Saturday, October 19:

🥇 Julien C., the first of our team, crossed the finish line just before 9:00 am (local time). He is 97th after running 34 hours 41!!

🥇 Marc arrived at La Redoute stadium after running 36 hours 33!! He is 144th.

🥇 Guillaume is 467th. He crossed the finish line after running 43 hours 05.

🥇 Julien L., after running 43 hours 26, is 499th.

🥇 Raph is 546th after running 44 hours 05.

Sunday, October 20:

🥇 Christophe arrived at La Redoute at 1:33 am, he is 1140th.

🥇 Jean-Louis, 1360th. Running time: 54h18

🥇 Phil, 1436th. Running time: 55h39

🥇 Xavier, 1596th. Running time: 57h51

Aurélia and Ludo arrived at the same time.

🥇 Aurélia, 1564th, Ludo, 1565th. Running time: 57h32

🥇 JP, 1570th. Running time: 57h35

🥇 Florian, 1728th. Running time: 59h24

Congratulations again!!! Now it is recovery time!

 

 

✨ MILLION STEPS ✨ After 24 hours…

It is 12:30 am in Reunion Island. 24 hours after the start of La Diagonale des Fous, our runners passed all Marla (7th aid station, 77.8km from the start). Among them, some continued to run, others decided to run.

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Julien C., 96th, passed Maïdo-Tête dure (14th aid station) !!! A huge bravo Julien !!!!

Marc, 242nd, arrived at Rocheplate (13th aid station).

Julien L. 492nd, Guillaume 502nd and Raph 700th passed Grand Place (11th aid station).

Christophe, 1083rd, arrived at Sentier Scout (9th aid station).

Aurélia 1635th, JP 1654th, Flo 1678th, Ludo 1701st, Jean-Louis 1702nd, Xavier 1786th et Phil 1865th passed Marla.

It froze last night at Aire Nez de Boeuf. 🥶 We hope this night will be less cold !

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Photo: Grand Raid Réunion

GO, GO, GO MILLION STEPS!!!

✨ MILLION STEPS ✨ In the race!

Let’s do it!!!! The “madmen” of the Million Steps team, who are running for the benefit of the French Fondation for Rare Diseases, shot off at 10 pm on the paths of la Diagonale!!

As Stéphane Brogniart, an ultra trailer, sponsor of our project, would say: “Be hardy as a fir tree, strong as Mirabelle!” (Mirabelle is a spirit from the Vosges)🌲

Thank you in advance to all people who will follow our runners: more than ever, in the days to come, every little step will count!

Here is the link to follow the race live. The beginning of the video shows the track of the course: OMG! It’s crazy!! 🙃

 

Reunion Island: D-1!! Here we are!

It was Philippe who, during a lunch with friends, proposed the idea of participating to La Diagonale des fous for the benefit of the French Fondation for Rare Diseases… already 2 years ago.

Phil, Flo, JP were quickly joined by Aurélia and Raph; a few months later, the solidarity team, composed of Julien C., Christophe, Xavier, Marc, Jean-Louis, Julien L., Guillaume and Ludo, was ready.

Then, depending on everyone’s personal and professional life, there were training sessions, in groups or alone, under the sun in the south of France or in Don’s winter greyness, on the slopes of Montmartre, of the Zugspitze or of the Mont Blanc; there were diets – with or without sugars – kefir, miso soup, kimchi, probiotics… and then, from time to time we went to a good restaurant and drank a little beer, because, well… 😉 There were coaching (thanks David!), “weekend chocs”, preparatory races, doubts, questions, disappointments, beautiful victories too…

AND NOW, HERE WE ARE!!! D-1 BEFORE THE KICK-OFF OF THE RACE!!!

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Marc, Flo, Raph, Phil, Ludo, Aurélia, Jean-Louis and JP with the flag of the FFRD

This morning, our runners were in Saint-Pierre, on the Reunion Island, to pick up their bibs!

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Jean-Louis and Ludo
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Christophe and Xavier with the “Grand Raid 2019” shirt

Reunion Island: first pictures by Guillaume and Jean-Louis!

Guillaume and Jean-Louis have landed on Reunion Island a few days ago; both of them went out to have a look around. They send us pictures that tell us a lot about the beauty of Reunion Island landscape’s… and the hell of the stairs !

Guillaume is accompanied by his father, who for the first time, will discover the atmosphere of an ultra trail – and not just any one! While waiting for the departure, hike on the side of Cilaos and bivouac in Mafate.

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Father and son on the paths of Reunion Island’s
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The same smile!
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Mafate, a nice place to sleep

Jean-Louis has covered part of the Diagonale des Fous track: Col des Boeufs, Maïdo, Rocheplate… these place names are well known to the participants in the Grand Raid.

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Mafate and the rampart of the Maïdo

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It seems insurmountable…
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With 59.5 km to go, the Rocheplate school which will be used as an aid station during the race.

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“What I leave behind before I face the Maïdo…”, Jean-Louis

Informations about La Diagonale des Fous 2019!

1. La Diagonale des Fous 2019: the race

The official track of  the Diagonale des Fous 2019 is online on Trace de trail!! By following this link you will find an interactive map and the race profile.

2. The app to follow the runners: LiveInfo (for smartphones, to download on Googleplay). La Diagonale des Fous / Grand Raid is already available in the events.

-By clicking on the event “Diagonale des Fous”, you can see the route.

-In the “Menu”, you can register your favorite runner(s) by name or bib number and follow their progress on the route between Saint-Pierre and Saint-Denis.

YOU WANT TO FOLLOW THE TEAM’S RUNNERS? HERE ARE THEIR BIB NUMBERS!

3. The bib numbers of Million steps runners

Aurélia: 1734
Florian: 1314
Philippe: 1938
Raphaël: 2451
Jean-Paul: 1622

Christophe: 733
Xavier: 881
Marc: 1242
Julien L.: 1636
Ludovic: 1301
Guillaume: 2469
Julien C.: 414
Jean-Louis : 2296