Grand Duc



The last Sunday in June I was part of a relay team that ran an Ultra Trail race called the Grand Duc. Well, actually we had two teams of 5 between our little english-language church and a French church that we partner with.  Having two teams made the run even better, as we could then have someone to run with during each leg.

me catching up with Rob about 1/2 way through our leg

We ran as teams of 5, meaning we each had between 12-20km and between 600-1300m of elevation gain to cover.  You could also run it as a team of two, or for those who are more machine than man, do the full 80k solo.

pretty sure from the look on my face I’m saying something sarcastic to Rob – as this was pretty much the only time that I was actually in front of him.
The 5 guys from our church who ran

It had poured rain the day before so it was MUDDY. And slippery.  The leg we ran had a pretty consistently steep 900m descent over about  5km coming into the village where we tagged off, and we –  and everyone around us – were falling, slipping, sliding along the muddy trails all the way down.

I may have slipped in something ‘mud-like’ in the pasture we ran through in the last 500m or so. I was told I did not smell so good.


Doug & Matt pointing to the summit of Chamchaude, which they had to run over on their leg
I don’t know how- but it appears that at the very end of their leg Matt is cracking jokes as they come in to the relay point
Johan and Henri approaching the finish line
Here is a map – the blue line at the bottom shows the 5,000m of elevation change
Our picnic near the start/finish in St Pierre de Chartreuse

Since wives & kids of 5 families were coming up, a few others joined and we ended up with a nice big communal picnic. The weather was outstanding and the views are truly outstanding.


The following video is pretty long, it seems like someone put on their head-cam for the whole 80km. However, if you want to see the leg that Rob and I ran, it’s on this video from 7:30 to 12:00


I think this was during our second climb
I pulled my phone out of my backpack and took this as I was running. Despite what it looks like – it does not do justice to the magnificently beauty of where we were running.


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