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Reunion Island: Land of Trails

 

The following is a 10-point summary of our trip to Reunion Island

 

  1. A small island with 800,000 inhabitants in the heart of the Indian Ocean. The sea and the mountains are nearby in a very pleasant tropical climate. Hot summer weather was approaching during our visit in October. A paradise for outdoor activities: swimming in lagoons, cycling on groomed paths, trails as far as the eye can see, climbing, paragliding…we could say that Reunion Island is the ideal spot for outdoor and especially trail enthusiasts. The only downside to this paradise: many shark attacks.
  2. As Reunion is a French overseas territory, we can find all the amenities of the ultra-modern world, but with stress levels that are well below what is experienced in big cities. People were very relaxed, even on the road. :)
  3. The population is a mix of Europeans, Africans, Chinese, Indians and Malagasy, which offers a magnificent and unique intercultural society.
  4. Canadians and Americans are scarce as the travelling time to get there is very long: an almost 40-hour journey, with more than 20 hours of flight time…with an eight-hour time difference.
  5. The Running Clinic was there to deliver its specialized course. Fifty physical therapists, physicians, podiatrists and trainers took the course, which has been taught on five continents more than one hundred times to the delight of the professionals who take it each time.
  6. A visit to the biomechanical laboratory at Université de la Réunion with: Georges Dalleau and Nicolas Peyrot, who also hosted a conference on ultra-trail and a debate/discussion on trail shoes, with Grégoire Millet, among others.
  7. A newly specialized clinic recognized by The Running Clinic in this part of the country with Ortho-Run and its owner Jean-Christophe Rivas.
  8. Meetings with top international trail runners (Jason Schlarb, Francois D’Haene, Julien Chorier, Xavier Thévenard, …) and local trail runners during a ‘healthy’ dinner with Éric Lacroix, Pascal Blanc , and several others.
  9. Blaise ran start the Bourbon trail: 4h45 of pure pleasure taking pictures and short video clips, and enjoying the scenery before withdrawing from the race. Objectives reached: reconnaissance of the course, seeing the island from the highlands, living trail euphoria, gaining experience for a next year…physically well-prepared.  :)
  10. Featured on Canal + Special grand raid to talk about shoes and the trend on the island to run with Hoka’s (ultra-maximalist). Blaise’s conclusion: “After having run with the Inov8 235 Trailroc (minimalist 0 drop, but with a very firm outsole and good grip; ideal choice for me) on these trails (Caverne Dufour and Cap anglais: very technical, large and unstable rocks, slippery), I only see disadvantages of running on these trails with Hoka shoes.”

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