The Volcanoes Were Awakened!
Photo : ©PVerticale_T.Nalet
On Wednesday, 29th May, the Great Volcanic Experience (XGTV) launched the VVX’s festivities. 23 adventurers, 4 teams of two and 17 solo runners, all experienced long distance ultra trail runners, took off from Lioran for the first edition of this adventure race on a 220km course with 7500m of ascent.
The XGTV trail race, run in partial autonomy throughout France’s volcanoes, mainly relies on one’s mental commitment, adventurous and supportive spirit, and the athletic values conveyed by mountaineering. A truly unique experience!
This ultra endurance race had its participants cross Auvergne’s volcanoes over a total distance of 220km and 7500m elevation gain, exploring some the most iconic GR paths (Grande Randonnée): the Monts Dômes, Monts Dore, Massif du Cézallier, Massif du Cantal, and the Artense plateau. The event’s route took the runners throughout the region’s various landscapes, showing the diversity of the Regional Natural Park of Auvergne’s Volcanoes.
After racing for 36:45 hours, Ludovic Martin was the first to cross the finish line. Although quite exhausted he excitedly exclaimed: “Although I’m used to these long distances, this race took me by surprise. The XGTV is really 4 different races in 4 different landscapes … it was simply beautiful!”
The Dingo team finished amongst the top 3 teams of two with a total race time of 47:15 hours.
Spectators also witnessed a very moving moment when Claire Rimbault, mother of 3 girls and PE professor from Aurillac, the only woman participating in the race, finished 7th in final rankings after a 53:37 hour race. Deeply moved, on the brink of crying, she stated: “It was amazing knowing there were so many people rooting for me. It really carried me through, all the way to the finish line! And all of us runners were particularly spoiled by the team of volunteers who were incredibly sweet!”
The Chaîne des Puys - Faille de Limagne Trail Experience
This race, officially candidate for the 2020 Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT), welcomed the men’s and women’s running elite, from France as well as internationally, on this new 110 km race format.
As usual, Sange Sherpa (Nepal) gave beaming smiles throughout the race and on the finishing line where he was the first to complete the race in only 10:45 hours. Winner of this first 110 km edition, he happily spoke to the crowd. “I initially came to have a good time and participate in a fun race … And I ended up thoroughly enjoying myself! Thank you everyone, I’ll be seeing you here again soon!”
On the women’s side, Sarah Verguet Moniz (Portugal) lead the entire time, in front of the Italian Francesca Canepa. She was the first to reach the center of Volvic after a 12:27 hour race.
The Volvic Impluvium Trail Experience
Kilian Jornet, VVX’s guest of honor and ambassador for the Volvic brand, marked the start of the race alongside Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone, who participated in the race himself!
After running for 3:24 hours, the Spanish runner, José Hernandez Sanchez, came in first, followed 20 minutes later by Fabien Lassonde, closely followed himself by Aurélien Lemaistre.
Dawa Sherpa, world renowned trail runner, who also participated in the race to explore Auvergne’s rolling volcanic paths, finally ranked 7th.
The women’s ranking was 100% French: Virginie Pailloux in 4:34 hours, and both Lucie Peillon and Céline Petit in 4:48 hours.
The Volcanic Trail Experience
It was a really tight race for Fabien Demure (02:07:48), Arnaud Jaillard (02:09:11), and Stéphane Bacconnier (02:09:32) who all three crossed the finish line only seconds apart.
It was the same for the ladies with Marine Place who came in 2:30:20 hours, followed only 30 seconds later by Celine Dequidt, and Clarisse Chevalier in 02:36:25 hours.
The Lava Trail Experience
Yoan Meudec (1:04 hours), Fredéric Poumerol (1:06 hours), and Brice Denis (1:08 hours) completed the men’s podium and Corinne Rougerie (1:30 hours), Nora Jouy (1:31 hours), and Alexandra Arendt (1:33 hours), the women’s.
Races and more!
Beyond the event’s athletic performances, the invitation to explore and discover is also at the heart of the event’s program. Three days of various artistic performances and concerts … enough to even waken the dormant volcanoes!
After a successful and crowded inaugural evening, the VVX’s first day was dedicated to trail running! Then Saturday, the event’s original concept, which invites one to retrace in their footsteps in order to explore the region, took real meaning since many continued exploring Auvergne’s volcanoes.
Thanks to the dedication of the 550 volunteers, the trail running experience continued, transforming into a cultural experience: discovering local and regional craftsmanship, culinary traditions, fun and educational visits between volcanoes, stone and water. The initial athletic experience finally brought spectators and participants to experience other outdoor activities. The event’s final evening was also a success closing off with festive concerts of Kawrites, Minuit and Yarol!
More About Volvic Volcanic Experience
In addition to the 4 existing race formats, the VVX will be offering a whole new challenge this year… bigger, longer, and simply
The Volvic Volcanic Experience – VVX – offers an athletic immersion into what is one of France’s most iconic landscapes: