4 months before Racing Madagascar Ultra Trail travel starts, here is a foretaste of the landscapes you will discover during the race.
1. Irodo River (Stage 1): Irodo River suppliers water to the southern region of Diego Suarez. During the Ultra Trail travel, you will cross it several times. Sometimes, you will see crocodiles in it! Don’t forget to remove your shoes and socks before crossing it. Last year, blisters were one the of main issue runners faced with!
During Madagascar Ultra Trail travel, you will cross Irodo River several times
2. Anivorano Sacred Lake (Stage 2): According to a local legend, a God took the appearance of an old man, and passed by the village of Anivorano. The village back at this time was located in the hollow of a former volcanic crater. While crossing the village, the “old man” asked for water, but all inhabitants refused to give him. To punish them, he turned them all into crocodiles and flooded the village, turning it into the Sacred Lake. When running around the lake during Madagascar Ultra Trail travel, keep your eyes open as there is a great chance you will see the former villagers floating on the lake!
Anivorano Sacred Lake
3. The Red Tsingy (Stage 3): The Red Tsingy are one of the “must-see” in Diego Suarez region. You won’t miss it during Madagascar Ultra Trail travel. This unique geological formation comes form a combination of bush fires, erosion and rainwater infiltrations. Because of their very fragile composition, you must not touch it! It is a landscape from another planet. Here, even the trail runners running against the clock take time to get a picture of it!
The Red Tsingy, natural wonder of Madagascar
4. The Satrana Forest (Stage 3): Satrana is a kind of palm tree. Its fibers are very useful for Malagasy people: they fo basketry (Baskets, brooms, mats…) or houses’ roofs out of it. Satrana forest is probably the hottest run you will have during Madagascar Ultra Trail 2017. The white sand reflects the heat and the track offers nearly zero shadow. Be prudent on dehydration risks here!
5. The baobabs forest (Stage 4) : 6 out of 8 species of Baobabs’ existing species on the planet are only present in Madagascar. The one you will see in this forest is the Baobab Adansonia Madagascariensis, only present in the northern region of Madagascar. Checkpoints will be set up before and after the forest as driving trough is not possible is this sacred and protected environment.
6. The mangroves (Stage 5): This very flat land will ease your life to pursue your Day 4 marathon. But it is also sandy so harder to run on it! Mangroves are only present in western coast of Madagascar. The east coast is to much shaken by Indian Ocean’s waves to let mangroves grow in. However, during stage 5 of the Ultra Trail Event, you will still be in the eastern coast of Madagascar. The landscape you are about to cross is a natural exception: a natural bay offers protection to the Mangroves, allowing them to grow peacefully away from the strength of Indian Ocean.
7. Diego Suarez Bay and the Sugar Loaf (Stage 6): Diego Suarez’s bay is considered among the 10th most beautiful bays worldwide (With the one in Rio de Janeiro). According to local tradition, it is forbidden to climb or walk on the sugar loaf. For your last trail running day, you will run inside this marvelous bay, just nearby mangroves and in front of the sugar loaf.
The famous Sugar loaf of Diego Suarez, when tide is low