Interview Focus on a race

Interview: Supertail du Barlatay in the Swiss Alps

26 Jan 2017 18:18
Jean-Loup Fenaux
George Sanga
Credit : SuperTrail du Barlatay

Hello, you will be hosting the Barlatay SuperTrail on August 18th, 2017. Could you please let us know exactly where it will be taking place?

The Barlatay SuperTrail takes place in the Swiss Alps in the regions of Pays d’Enhaut and the Ormonts. More specifically, the race starts in the small village of L’Etivaz, where the famous Alpine cheese, L’Etivaz AOP, is produced.

When was the race first held, and what were the original reasons why it was created?

The first race took place in 2012. The idea behind creating the event came from one person in particular, our honorary president, Mr. Renaud Toussaint. A distinguished sportsman with a track record including the UTMB, the Marathon des Sables, and Ironman, and a lover of the mountains, Renaud wanted to give other runners the chance to discover our region. This was the genesis of the Barlatay.

We are now organizing the event for the sixth time, and the motivation that he gave us remains intact!


What kind of course can the runners expect? Could you describe it?

The Barlatay Ultra Trail is an 87 km course that winds over the highest peaks of the Pays d’Enhaut and the Ormonts, with four lakes and two peaks at an altitude of over 2,300m with an ascending elevation of 5,400m. A demanding route over footpaths, pastures, forests, mountain crests and scree. A unique opportunity to discover the Alpes in the Vaud region and enjoy the preserved natural landscape.

How many runners are expected on the Friday evening? What kind of runner do you expect to attract?

As many as possible! No, that’s not true. We value quality over quantity. If we manage to attract 500 runners, we’ll be satisfied.

Credit : José Crespo

Have you planned any other races for the weekend, and if so, over what distance?

Yes, we have included two other races to be held on Saturday, August 19th. The Barlatay Trail is a 46km course with 2,700m of ascent. This is an absolutely stunning course with magnificent, panoramic views over the Alps. The second is an introductory course that was created specifically to help people learn the sport of trail running. It takes place over adventure-packed terrain which will delight runners and walkers. In addition, they also count as qualifying races for the UTMB.

What weather conditions are expected at this time of the year?

The month of August is generally dry, with pleasant temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius and a little bit more in the valleys. Nevertheless, you mustn’t forget that we are in the mountains and you’re never out of reach of changing weather conditions.

George Sanga
Credit : SuperTrail du Barlatay

Have you planned any party events to mark the race?

Yes, like every year, we are organizing a themed party on the Friday evening. The committee is still actively considering the theme, but we’ve made a good start!

As someone who has run the Ultra Trail, what would you recommend to someone who has never been to L’Etivaz? Any good restaurants or nice places to visit?

After the Ultra…start with a good shower! More seriously, it’s difficult to answer, because our region is so full of amazing things to see and good things to eat, but if I focus entirely on the local region, I’d recommend visiting the L’Etivaz cheese cellars for a tasting session, followed by a good meal at the Hotel du Chamois, which cooks dishes that are famous for their quality, using local produce that is the perfect way to recover your strength.

What one thing would you say to readers of ahotu Marathons to make them want to sign up for the Barlatay Supertrail?

The Barlatay Supertrail is an opportunity to combine physical effort with breathtaking, panoramic views in a festive atmosphere. Our organization is like a family, while the low price of registration and the limited number of participants make it an unmissable event for those lucky enough to take part.

Credit : Novomonde

Interview with Jean-David Isoz, who followed in his father’s footsteps as president of the organization committee. He considers himself an amateur athlete, primarily a mountain biker, still just about on the right side of 40. He was born in L’Etivaz and grew up there. Beyond the purely organizational aspects, for him the Barlatay is a heartfelt story of friendship. The race is a product of Renaud Toussaint’s imagination, and Jean-David and his team do their best to make it happen so that he can look down on it from Heaven with pride.