The Grand Raid des Pyrénées
is one of the most legendary and demanding races on the trail and ultra-trail worldwide circuit. Despite the ever increasing number of participants, the “GRP” – as the regulars call it – wants to remain an event on a human scale, friendly and warm. This gathering of more than 4,500 runners puts the Pyrenees mountain chain at the forefront and more particularly, the superb massif of the central Pyrenees, still preserved and wild, through sumptuous high-mountain routes. The participants, according to the chosen routes, set off to discover the true High Pyrenean gems: the Néouvielle lakes, the Pic du Midi, the Vallon d’Aygues-Cluses, or the Cirques de Troumouse, d’Estaubé and Gavarnie. Without forgetting the typical towns and villages of these valleys (Saint-Lary, Cauterets, Pierrefitte-Nestalas, Luz-Saint-Sauveur, Gavarnie… and of course the village of Vielle-Aure, the starting and finishing point of the race). From mountains passes to cols and from valley to valley, the GRP is, from everyone’s mouth, runners, volunteers or partners, a real feast for the eyes and… legs!
In 2021, the GRP runners will again cross and discover a protected area (the Néouvielle National Reserve, the heart of the Pyrenees National Park). Trail or nature running in this area remains exceptional and limited. The regulations in force must be respected. Behaviour that respects the environment and the species must be adopted by all.
“RUNNING WITHOUT LEAVING A TRACE”
The GRP commits:
- To avoid or minimise the impact of the event on the environment, to preserve the protected areas and make runners and spectators aware of the fragility of the environments in which it takes place.
- That the runners respect the Park regulations. The latter must in particular undertake to respect these main points of vigilance:
- Stay on the trails, to not run on the sides of the path to avoid trampling of the surroundings and widening of the paths.
- Do not cut the path zig-zags, as this creates rain gullys, which can degrade large areas. It is difficult to restore these scars.
- Keep your rubbish until the next aid station.
Discover these spaces in silence to avoid the disturbance of wildlife. The paths taken are used by hikers, you are not necessarily a priority and it is courteous to thank them, if these users deviate and ease your passage. Finally, the spaces traversed are summer pasture areas, avoid scaring the animals, slow down and go around them if necessary.
Pyrenees National Park regulations
These regulations are illustrated by information and warning signs that runners will find in the national park.
Bivouacs and fires
- Bivouacs are authorised when more than an hour walk from the boundaries of the National Park or from a road access, between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m.
- No camping or camping car parking overnight to preserve the beauty of the sites and avoid pollution
- No camping fires, to avoid fires and soil degradation
Noise, disturbance and waste
- No noise or disturbance for everyone's peace
- Plan to bring bags with you to bring your rubbish back out of the park
- Dogs are not allowed in the national park, even on a leash
- Plan beforehand for somebody to look after your dogs during your hike
- Here is a dog boarding address:
Néouvielle Nature Reserve in Orédon (Aure Valley), from July 1 to September 15
Information at the town hall of Aragnouet – Tel. : 05 62 39 62 63
Plant picking and sampling
- No picking, no sampling
- Animals, plants, minerals and fossils belong to the landscape and should be left there
Fishing and hunting
- Within the National Park weapons are not allowed: here all animals are protected
Vehicles, bikes and air sports
- Non-motorised overflight is regulated
- The use of 4×4 vehicles as well as the motocross bikes is prohibited
- Mountain biking is prohibited outside the authorised tracks (cross-country ski trails of Brousset – Ossau valley and Somport – Aspe valley).