It is a 160 km race which is being created along the loops of the Seine. In 2025, from August 22 to 24, Léo Godefroy, Alexis Leclerc and the eleven other members of the association hope to attract at least 500 runners to the start at the Abbey of Gruchet-le-Valasse (Seine-Maritime) for the first edition of the 3 Ponts Ultra-trail. “To date, apart from in Brittany, there is no ultra-trail in the north of France. From Paris or from our home in the Pays de Caux, you have to drive four or five hours to participate in such competitions,” explains Alexis, a sound engineer from Yvetot and president of the UT3P association.
The idea of an ultra-trail in Normandy was born after three editions of the 48 Hours of Handicap, a sporting event created to raise funds in the Pays de Caux. “The principle was to do as many kilometers as possible running, cycling… We imagined doing it once and raising 1,000 euros, ultimately we did three editions and 100,000 euros in revenue for associations like France Handicap. Then, we said to ourselves that running ourselves was not enough and that we had to involve other athletes to continue this commitment. It was our mentor, Michel Fauvel, who gave us the idea for the 3 Ponts course. »
The idea emerged in the fall of 2023, the association was created and the team received a lot of encouragement on social networks. “We entered into a partnership with Caux Seine Normandie Tourisme which welcomes us to the Abbey and we defined our route,” continues Alexis.
Departing from the Abbaye du Valasse (Seine-Maritime), a first loop of 80 km will leave in the direction of the Pont de Normandie to take the runners to Honfleur (Calvados) before heading into the Marais-Vernier (Eure) and recross the Seine via the Tancarville bridge. From there, the most daring can continue the route in the shape of an 8 to the Brotonne bridge, cross it towards the Tancarville bridge and complete 160 km of running, crossing the finish line also located on the Abbey website.
“We are also planning a smaller course, of 15/20 km, to be accessible to all, relays in teams of two or four and a children’s race,” adds the young sportsman who focuses on the beauty of the landscapes, three bridges “ emblematic” and the proximity of Paris to bring runners.
But such a race requires preparation and the first edition will only take place in a year and a half, with the summer of 2024 arriving much too early. For such an event, the members of the association must now tackle the hardest part: raise the 70,000 euros necessary for the logistics of the race and above all recruit some 300 volunteers. “For the organization of the race, we are all on a line of less impact, we do not yet know if we are going to make T-shirts for the volunteers, we do not accept sponsors whose practices do not correspond to our values. »
Values which, Alexis hopes, will convince volunteers to participate in the event. “The primary goal is to make profits that will be donated to the Vie et Espoir association, which helps children with cancer in Normandy. This is our goal even if, in the long term, we hope to become a key player in ultra-trail and allow us to gain points in the rankings of theMont Blanc ultra-trail and other trail competitions in France,” insists Alexis.
Starting in the spring, UT3P members will invest in trail running villages in the region and around Paris and organize an evening for volunteers this summer. If the website is not yet online, it is possible to contact UT3P at [email protected] or on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.