The race from Roquefort-sur-Soulzon this Sunday still attracts just as many runners.
She grew up in the shadow of the traditional Templar Festival,” but will never be that important “, assures Gilles Bertrand, its creator. However, the Hivernale des Templiers is one of the largest gatherings of runners in the region and in France. It has taken its time to mature, refine itself and acquire its full flavor at the rate of fleurins .
On Sunday they will be 2,500 to take the start in one of the five organized races (a night 5km starts on Saturday). The bibs had no problem hanging on. “Two races are full, we increased the capacity of four“, admits Gilles Bertrand. The only drawback, on Astragale, is the queen (67 km for 2,290 m elevation gain), “ we want a hundred less runners, I don’t know how to explain it“.
A unique crossing of Larzac
This fifth edition will not change anything about its formula, which has already proven itself. Every year, the weather in December dictates its uniqueness. Last year it was snow, this year the rain is coming. Even wet, the participants will be able to appreciate the special nature of the crossed landscapes. “The routes are optimized to walk where it is most beautiful on paths that are little used, such as cirque Saint-Paul-des-Fonts, cirque Tournemire, the rock of Rocangelwonders Gilles Bertrand. It’s a nice north-south crossover, with a nice mix of what corresponds to my vision of trail running: Run as much as possible in places to discover. “
Ugo Ferrari as favourite
Hence this great popularity for one of the last events of the year for trail runners. Despite this, a few names stand out. Like Ugo Ferrari of the Altra team, who finished 26th in the last UTMB, at Astragale. Jérémy Nion, winner of the last two editions, will not line up at the start.
At the Marathon de l’Orchis (34.7 km for 1440m elevation gain), it is a local that has the highest Itra rating (International Trail Running Association, editor’s note). It’s Dan Aragon having a great season. He was 4th in the Boffi Fifty during the Festival des Templiers in October, won the Luchon Aneto trail (42 km) and was second during the Festival des Crêtes (40 km) in Saint-Jean-du-Bruel. “We do not have the ambition to attract elites to this racerecognizes the organizer. It is an event at the end of the season to have fun. We have about twenty runners who have an Itra rating of more than 750 points.“If the essence of the Hivernale is not in the names it attracts, the level will still be raised with good riders who will draw the different pelotons on the different Larzac courses.