When I started pulling my program for the year together I had two races in the first half of the year: the St Fons 6 Hour and the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra. The first was a chance to run a nice timed ultramarathon not too far from home, and the second also an ultramarathon but with a ton of climbing stairs included.

But when the local ultrarunning club, Lyon Ultra Run, offered up a last minute urban trail run this coming Friday, I had to dive in. The race is called Lurdunum, and it comes with a twist.

No one knows much about the race at all.

Launched on the LUR blog and social media last month, the details of the route, the distance, even the starting point remained deliberately hidden. According to the blog post that announced the event:

The route will not be announced in advance, you will discover it on the big day – we like surprises. The track is 25 km long and with a few hundred meters in ascent. Count 4-5 hour running including breaks.

The distance shouldn’t be a problem but the likely time to complete it suggests there will be a lot of climbing involved. A few hundred meters? The email giving sparse details that arrived on Sunday afternoon suggests 1000m of vertical gain – this is gonna be fun!

An email I received over the weekend also finally revealed the starting point for Lurdunum 2016: the Place St Jean. Along with the start time – 8pm – that’s all I really know about the race right now. And that’s kind of fun.

After the couple of weeks I took off with injury and with another 600 kilometers in my legs since the Ploeren 12 Hour race in December, I’m looking forward to this first and surprise hit out of the year.

Image by Connie Ma.

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