The Diagonal of Fools- Sound like a race you want to run? Yeah me either. Thankfully, that’s why we have Polartec athlete advisors like Laurent Valette to do it for us. Laurent recently completed the Diagonale Des Fous on the French island of La Reunion earlier this month.
The race is 162km, and 9600 m of elevation gain on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean that closely resembles the back drop of Jurassic Park. Regardless, 2500 competitors run this race every year including 250 females.
Besides the constant threat of T-Rex attacks, the course is also one of the most grueling in the world. Steep up and downs, volcanic rock, combined with mud and wet conditions are torture on runner’s feet.
The temperature also swings from 32 to 89 degrees- the perfect environment for Polartec’s new NeoShell fabric, the first truly waterproof, breathable, temperature regulating fabric on the market.
Laurent began at 300th in this race and finished at 117th after 38 long hours of running, and only 15 minutes of sleep. “The feet are badly worn, the muscles are evils, but the mind is very good,” Laurent told us. “In these races, courage and the power of the mind are forces that help you to the finish.” Only 50% of this year’s runners completed the race. Congratulations to Laurent on this huge accomplishment. Better you than us, my good man!