Young mother Anne-Lise Rousset launches record attempt on “the legendary” GR20 in Corsica

Two months after the birth, it is therefore humanly possible to run sections of the formidable GR20 in Corsica (170 km and 12,700 m of elevation gain in total). Trail runner Anne-Lise Rousset proved it last year and is even facing the Calenzana cross-country women’s record in Cuenca on Monday, starting at 6 p.m. Ten years earlier, nothing seemed to predestine her for such an ultratrail challenge. “Before 2013 I didn’t run as much, just for fun, without a license,” said the 33-year-old Haut-Savoyarde.

As part of a foray into the Toulouse region, where she studies as a veterinarian, she meets Adrien Séguret, who will become her coach … and her husband. Since this meeting, he has been making the maximum flight winning the CCC in 2014 (101 km, 6,090 m of D + within the UTMB of Chamonix), and finishing second three times (2016, 2017, 2019) in the Transvulcania (73). km, 4,330 m of elevation gain in Spain).

At the age of 33, Anne-Lise Rousset distinguished herself by winning the CCC (101 km, 6,090 m D +) in 2014. – Scott

50 hours of work per week in a veterinary consultation

“Frankly, I didn’t know I could do all this,” smiles team athlete Scott. I liked the format of races between 70 and 80 km quickly more than the circuits of 30-40, and now I want to try the ultra to reduce my number of races and set myself one or two big goals per season. . “She will have this challenge switched off on the GR20, where it will seek to bring down Emilie Lecomte’s 41:22 in Corsica (June 2012).

Achieving this would be all the more impressive as Anne-Lise Rousset works 80% in a veterinary practice in Cruseilles (Haute-Savoie), or “about fifty hours a week”. All the while she is the mother for 11 months of a little Faustin, who is an adventure on the island of Beauty, cared for by Anne-Lise’s little sister.

“It’s both a dream and a fear”

Validating this record would be the culmination of his great complicity with Corsica, born in September 2019, when he covered the entire GR20 in five days with his companion. “I fell in love with this course, and we are always very well received by the locals,” says the vet. Adrien Séguret immediately proposes to him to try this cross-country record. “Okay, we slept in a shelter, but completing the GR20 in 36 hours despite the backpack, and eating sausages and cheeses, gives ideas,” says the coach of the French trail team.

In 2020, Anne-Lise Rousset signs her first project switched off of stairs with the record crossing of the Aravis (49 km and 6,110 m of D + in Haute-Savoie). But the monster presented to him on Monday is of a completely different dimension. He remembers the failure in 2017 of the American Rory Bosio, winner of two UTMBs, who exploded in the Corsican mountains to finally reach Cuenca after about 50 hours. Like the very low number of female attempts, compared to men (Kilian Jornet, Guillaume Peretti, François D’Haene, Xavier Thévenard, Lambert Santelli). Anne-Lise Rousset is well aware of this.

“I don’t know if the GR20 scares women more than men, but yes, it’s a work and it’s both a dream and a fear, it’s so technical and demanding. Guillaume Peretti, who traveled extensively there, admits that he left a few years of life there. It’s a little crazy but it’s legendary. »

A much more technical route than the Diagonale des Fous

By comparison, the iconic Diagonale des Fous in Reunion, which combines substantially the same distance and elevation gain (165 km and 9,576 m D +), is completed in less than 30 hours at the women’s table, while The The GR20 record is therefore at 41:20 … That’s why Anne-Lise Rousset tried to put all the opportunities at her side, multiplying the locations in Corsica. And this with especially 15 days of May dedicated to completing the whole route twice, along with his friends Guillaume Peretti and Lambert Santelli, current record of the GR20 (in 30:25).

With Adrien Séguret, he aims for a mark at around 36:30 to homologate with a certain margin the women’s record of this official route, which passes both through the fascinating circus of solitude and through the alpine variant of Bavella. Anne-Lise Rousset is aware of the part unknown to her, as she has never covered such a long distance without a real interruption in her career, not even 100 km from her fourth place at the CCC in 2018.

“This distance doesn’t scare me at all”

“Having never done 100 miles (160 km) and had a baby less than a year ago, which led to a stoppage of competition and a loss of pads, all this necessarily scares me a little,” she admits. But I have never bet so much on this project. »The permanent presence next to two of them pacers who will take turns (including Guillaume Peretti and Lambert Santelli) will probably reassure her. Like her husband’s optimism.

Anne-Lise Rousset has among her famous pacers two trail runners accustomed to the great performances at the GR20, Guillaume Peretti and Lambert Santelli.
Anne-Lise Rousset has among her famous pacers two trail runners accustomed to the great performances at the GR20, Guillaume Peretti and Lambert Santelli. -Scott

“This distance doesn’t scare me at all,” says Adrien Séguret. You walk a lot more than you run on the GR20, and the more technical it is, the stronger it is. To me, she’s as prepared as a girl who’s already completed five 100 miles. In his mind, it is not 170 km but full of sections of about 20 terminals with a dozen pacers completely different. Physically and psychologically, it’s much better to approach things that way. Sharing this challenge with friends, in the Corsican mountains that put stars in her eyes, is tailor-made for her. »

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