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SaintéLyon 2018: on the trail of the oldest ultramarathon in France

SaintéLyon 2018: on the trail of the oldest ultramarathon in France
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By Euronews
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A euronews reporter accepted the challenge to race 81km through the night, to complete the SaintéLyon, the oldest ultramarathon in France

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Midnight on Sunday was the start of the 65th edition of the SaintéLyon, an epic overnight run in southeast France and the oldest ultramarathon in the country, connecting the cities of Saint-Étienne and Lyon.

At over 80 kilometres, it's a true test of endurance attracting thousands of participants - and this year our reporter Rodrigo Barbosa took part.

***SaintéLyon 2018*** ➡️ 17300 inscrits ➡️ 15665 partants ➡️ 13950 finishers BRAVO À VOUS ‼️?? #saintélyon #pouramateurséclairés #pourfinishersilluminés

Publiée par SAINTELYON Page Officielle sur Dimanche 2 décembre 2018

A little after departing from Saint-Étienne, Rodrigo hits the first trails: "Just a few kilometers on and we start going in the first woods of the night. Lights will be snaking across the country for more than 70 km to Lyon if everything goes well."

Soon after the first drops of rain start to fall: "We're now in a trail in the heart of a forest. The rain has just started as it was forecast."

This year's edition was particularly difficult, with heavy rain that quickly transformed most of the terrain into puddles and rivers of mud.

Three hours later, our reporter reached the second refuel check point, which is considered pivotal for this race.

Over 11 hours after crossing the starting line, Rodrigo finally got a glimpse of the end of the ordeal: "We are now in Lyon. We have only 2 km in front of us and we can almost see the finish line."

It was with some relief and a lot of emotion that our reporter crossed the arch that marked the end of the SaintéLyon 2018: "It's done! We've just completed another adventure. It was 81 kilometres and 12 hours. I'm really tired but still have a smile on my face."

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