The Adventurers at VVX
In addition to the 4 existing race formats, the VVX will be offering a whole new challenge this year… bigger, longer, and simply crazier than the others; the Great Volcanic Crossing Experience. Otherwise known as the XGTV®, this race will cover a total of 220 km and a 7500 m elevation gain. Designated as an adventure race, it’s most importantly an ultra-endurance event which requires a good sense of direction, both on and off designated trails.
Equipped only with GPX-track road books, runners will follow GR (official Grande Randonnée) trails 95 % of the time (red & white markings). The race’s route will explore the diversity and beauty of the landscapes in the Natural Regional Park of the Auvergne’s Volcanoes. Especially designed for experienced athletes and adventurers, the XGTV® can be run solo or in teams of two.
To date, 17 solo runners and 4 duos are signed up to take part in this exceptional race. Amongst these incredible adventurers, here’s a selection of 4 amazing profiles!
THE DUO, La team Ding’o (« the nutty team », in English)
The team Ding’o is made up of two runners: Willy Dujarding (age 54) and Gilles Yves (age 39). This remarkable duo has set its next challenge: running the XGTV®. And who knows, they may even accomplish the extraordinary challenge of running 220 km in record time! Amongst their triumphs are the 1st edition of the Ultra Raid 28 in 2013 and the “Traversée” (a race organized by the Salomon Running Team) in 2015, which they managed to finish in under 50 hours.
“We had been searching for our next challenge as a team for quite a while. Individual ultras are great, but the experience takes on a whole other dimension when shared as a team. We know very little of Auvergne, although it’s not so far from our native Normandy! Our main goal while running this race will be to enjoy ourselves as much as possible. Our motto is “do things seriously without taking yourself too seriously”. But from there on, it’s impossible to say how things will go. Predicting the outcome of a 220km race in the mountains seems a little presumptuous ...”, says the team.
THE ACTIVIST, Matthieu The Solo Runner
The adventure will be quite different for Matthieu Ollier, age 39, who is signed up as a solo runner. Both founder and president of the OFF ROAD X-Perience Solidarity Trail Association, Matthieu will be running the XGTV® for the Neurofibromatosis and Recklinghausen’s Association.
After 10 years of triathlon and two Ironman races (Embrun in 2010 and Vichy in 2011), Matthieu has decided to devote his time to ultra-trail running. He finished 3rd on the Grand Trail Stevenson (a three-day – three-stage race), but his most cherished adventures are the Mitic in Andorra (112 km/9700 elevation gain) in 2017 and Pottoka (Basque Country crossing) in 2018.
“Being an Auvergne native and an adventure lover, the XGTV® is a solidarity project I’m eager to take part in. My aim is that my running will get people talking about neurofibromatosis and the association I represent. By running through the area of the local volcanoes, I’m looking to experience a solo and yet interdependent adventure!”
The Most Intense, David Riché
David, age 36, of Team Tech1Sport, is a former military and long-distance specialist. He has qualified two times for the Ultra Spartan Race World Championships.
He has signed up this year for the XGTV® because it is part of his physical training for what is an important personal project: a solo crossing of Antarctica in 2020, the last leg of a documentary on global warming that he’s directing.
“The 220 km and 7500 meter elevation gain offered by the XGTV® is a rare race format in France. And it fits just perfectly into my physical prep program. I can’t wait to start … and, of course, cross the finish line!”
The Wonder Woman, Claire Rimbault
At age 47, Claire is a mom of three, a PE teacher and one of the few (or only?) women to participate in the 1st edition of the XGTV®. Her impressive track record includes participations in the UTMB®, the Diagonale des Fous route in Réunion, France, and the Ultra-trail® in Madeira, Portugal, and Barcelona, Spain. She especially loves long distance runs like the one she recently completed with friends between Lioran, France and the Mediterranean Sea: a total of 342 km in 6 days!
“What I love most are the adventures that take you from point A to point B, and that’s exactly what the XGTV® is. It crosses two departments and three mountain chains with no trail markings and only a GPX track. I love this because I especially enjoy orienteering. And even if 220 km is obviously quite long and I won’t have completed 100 % of my training by then, the trails on the XGTV are less technical than others and the elevation gain is reasonable… And just like on all my other races, my husband will be there to assist me!”