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A tough race

March 11, 2010

I haven’t abandoned many races but there is one race in southern France that I would like to try again. In 2004 the Verdon Trail Adventure was a 3-day event. Before the start the third day I couldn’t walk, my ankles were too sore and swollen. And having experienced the unforgiving brutality of the race course there was noo point even starting that day.

I had made several crucial mistakes: I didn’t tape my ankles; I drank too little water; ran empty on energy and electrolytes; I brought my normal size running shoes, when I should have brought at least one size bigger.

Since a few years this super brutal mountain trail race race is no longer a stage race. The name has changed to Verdon Canyon Challenge, which probably better tells what’s it about – negotiating steep canyons: up and down, up and down, up and down, on some of the most difficult trails I have ever experienced, with sharp rocks everywhere. Being held in June it use to be very hot. You can chose between 8, 17, 35 or 100 K and the race director advise you to calculate a finish time 3 times your normal time for trail racing. Estimated total climb in the 100 K category is +2104 m, and maximum time: 35 H.

The official website is and here is a youtube-clip from last year, which shows what kind of progress you should expect. The race is held in a very beautiful and spectacular area, Les Gorges du Verdon, a few hours drive north of Nice. 2010 the race will be June 11-13.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 19:34

    Sounds like fun we have some good Grand Cayon races here in the USA. Some run from Rim to Rim to Rim in the desert heat. I like the pictures of that race, is it hot?

    • fredrikolmqvist permalink*
      March 11, 2010 22:55

      Hi Brian, this race is really tough in all aspects, and it’s hot, about 35°C. Check the youtube clip, then you will get a picture how the trails are – very steep and rocky. And you can read Luke Cunliffe’s account of the race :

  2. March 12, 2010 16:30

    Wow! Luke is hardcore! He has a lot of racing under his belt.

    • fredrikolmqvist permalink*
      March 13, 2010 11:54

      yes Luke has been doing some foot work. We met a few times. Good humor.

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