The 3rd edition of the Chartreuse Terminorum is over, and has yet to see any finisher of the 5 loops for 2019.

It has been, again this year, a great collective failure, following the standard formulation. The Chartreuse Terminorum (5 loops to complete, for a total of 300km and +25.000 of D+, no marking, no assistance, etc …), is fully inspired by the Barkley, the ultra trail race known as the toughest in the world and one of the most merciless, with low statistics of only 1% finishers. Regarding the Barkley, it took 3 years to get a runner to complete 3 loops, and 10 years to finally achieve 5 loops.

Will we ever see a runner complete 5 loops of the Chartreuse Terminorum, given that during the 1st edition, to finish 1 loop was seen as elitist (only 6 runners), and doing 2 loops was considered a great feat ( only 1 runner ) … ?

Just like a cathedral under construction, each year runners individually bring new stones to the collective construction of the edifice, through their failures and successes. One of the pillars making this progress possible, is the mixing of «experts» and «novices», 50/50, each year, allowing knowledge transfer and improvement at the same time.

Imanol Aleson and David Baranger completed 3 loops this edition (symbolically named the «Fun Run»), and they made an outstanding achievement by running 180 km and climbing up 15.000 metres on Chartreuse steep tracks, day and night, non-stop and with no marking at all … These personal victories are the milestones of the edifice built on the collective experience gathered and shared since the pathfinders of year 2017.

This 3rd edition, there were no less than 22 runners who completed loop 1 (against 6 two years ago), 10 runners finished loop 2 (against 1 two years ago), 2 runners finished loop 3, and Imanol Aleson even started loop 4. For a few hours only, but psychologically, this is immeasurable, to begin loop 4, it’s just before 5, and it is not that far now.


This way, the cathedral and the legend are built, with patience throughout the years, and with the sharing of knowledge and collective experience each year, upon the road  may, one day soon, lead to a runner’s victory in completing the 5 loops of this individual and collective undertaking…

« It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. » (Sénèque)…

Benoit LAVAL
Co-organizer of the Chartreuse Terminorum
And multiple times participant of the Barkley (shameful and vain attemps…)



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