The desire to create this event results from several factors that came together one early morning (while in good humor) in Marseille, while waiting for the takeoff of a Boeing 737 destination Faya-Largeau Chad.
First of all, as an asphalt marathon globe-trotter over 20 years, I eventually developed a taste for cross-country races like many others. Permanent cravings for challenges made me taste successively some ultra-trail pearls such as the UTMB (3 times) or GRP (2 times), the necessary trainings required for the Templars, 6000D and other TGV or GR73!
But there is one that I often dream of but in which I have not been able to participate: Feu le Lybian Challenge. My passion for Africa was never able to associate itself with the trails. Maybe it was also because I was not attracted by the multiple stage races that abound.
Along with these sports hobbies, sometimes I had the opportunity to make tourist trips in various Sahelian areas such as Mauritania and Mali where the warm welcome (and climate) and the beautiful scenery already fascinated me. This was the occasion of my first meeting with Point-Afrique whose aim was to open up whenever possible these neglected and often inaccessible regions by caring and responsible tourism triggering a local poverty reduction development.
In 2012, faced with difficulties in the aforementioned countries,Maurice Freund, connoisseur of Saharan Africa and founder of Point-Afrique, put all his energy to open up an air route to the north of Chad which had not suffered any trouble for some years. Thus, I went there, driven by the desire to discover a region which very few tourists had visited but also to bring a small contribution to this crazy project (this has also been reported in a report to the Special Envoy of France Télévisions and here) only relayed by a dedicated FaceBook page.
Amazed by this environment, I at once had the idea for a race and I immediately spoke to Maurice Freund in the heat of a box at the Festival of Cultures Nomads: "Why not," said he excited while emphasizing the uncertainty of the renewal in 2013 of his flights.
Finally, a second season has seen the day when from January to March 2013 more than 900 travellers in turn discovered the Ennedi. Since we do not give up, I left with a small team AFRICA RUN (an association established 7 years ago to get running shoes in used condition to give them a second life with disadvantaged populations West Africa) in order to take 1000 pairs of shoes among other things.
Several flights were necessary to carry in this provision and while taking a well deserved coffee at dawn waiting for the departure of the aircraft that Kevin of Point-Afrique asks: "So, where are you with your running project? Because we, you know, we're really interested! ".
It did not take much for the idea lying dormant in me, to reawaken. And besides, I do not like to let my ideas and desires hang back!
Back in Paris, I propose the idea to Hervé et Laurent, specialists organizing Trails, who, busy developing their company, hesitated for a few days, but eventually joined the adventure.
The core was then quickly completed by Isabelle, the angel of the desert trailers who for many years has been watching over their health during many desert races.
A name, a logo, a graphic were created as a result thanks to the duo of Twinkle Twinkle, Arnaud and Guillaume. All that remains is for Flag and Fred's know-how of how swell the greatest number of competitors for Year 1 of the TREG®
The first edition took place in February 2014 and was a great success on all levels. Find here the video about the race broadcast by french sport TV channel, Sport+.
We are expecting a great many of you !