A new night trail in the South of France : Forest Trail 31

09 Dec 2010 16:23
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race

§staticmap(9057,5)Hello, on February 19th 2011, you’ll be organizing the Forest Trail 31. Can you tell us where it is located?

The FOREST TRAIL 31 will be run during the night of February 19th 2011 in the Forest of Bouconne, in the North West of Toulouse, France. We have chosen this date because it will be full moon to light the runners.

This will be the first edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?

Indeed, it will be the first edition of the race, so there is a lot of stress among the organizing team. The team regroups friends from different local runners VELOCYRAPTORS 31 from Pibrac and MACADAM from colomiers. We used to meet regularly to run trails, ride mountain bikes or take part in raids. Last year we ran the “Piste des Seigneurs” a night trail race ran between Rodez and Millau and we loved it!

In 2010, the race was cancelled and it was a great disappointment for us, it created a void. Then an idea started to emerge. Why not organize our own full moon night trail? We wanted to share with other runners as well as living a great adventure together.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The playing field lies in the North West of Toulouse in France. The starting line is in the forest of Bouconne, the green zone of our city. But then the runners will wander about the hills of the Save river and face a 1000 m elevation gain.

A check point for the solo runners and a relay point provided with warm and cold food is organized at the Sainte Marie du Désert abbey. The whole detailed course is available on our website.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday evening? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect about 250 to 300 runners. As of today, it’s quite difficult to set a specific type of participant. The list of participants is regularly updated on our website.

Forêt de Bouconne, à proximité de Toulouse,France
Credit : Grégory Tonon

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

Runners can choose between two distances: 43 and 30 km or take part in the relay. This enables us to attract long distance lovers as well as runners willing to discover full moon running.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

You’ll have to dress properly because the night will be quite cold. It’s one of the reason to choose this period of the year. The night begins quite early (giving plenty of time to run in the dark) and the harsh conditions make running the trail a real struggle against the elements.

Have you planned festivities around the race?

11 towns will be ran across. Some of them will organize activities such as grilled chestnut delivered to the runners under the hall. We also have a few surprises for the for them…

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to the Bouconne forest before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

When the race is over, runners coming from far away will be able to get back to their hotel located in the heart of the forest (a two minute walk from the finish line). Remember to book at “LE RATELIERS”. But everything depends on the time you’ll cross the finish line…

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Forest Trail 31?

Come and live a magical moment. We prepare this event with the goal to fill runners with wonders. Even in the heart of the night there will be many things to see.

Thank you Laurence.