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6, 7th July 2018 : 43th edition of the "Course des Crêtes"




The undersigned …………………… a general practitioner, testify that …………………… has got no physical problems which prevent him from doing athletics or running in competition.


GPS profiles registered by the POUILLON team in 2009.



Friday July 6rd:


  • 09:00 am: Collection of bibs.

  • 08:00 pm: End of night race registrations.

  • 10:30 pm: Start of the night race from Espelette to the top of the Mondarain. Length : 7.5 km. Maximum 200 runners. Return to Espelette by foot.

  • 01:00 am: End of massages.

Saturday July 7th:
  • 09:00 am: Collection of bibs.

  • 11:00 am: Start of the MIAM-MIAM hiking trail 16.7 km with shepherd's meal.

  • 11:30-12:30 am: Start of the free hiking trails. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN FOOD AND BEVERAGES.

  • 01:30 pm: Start of the 26 km race.

  • 01:35 pm: Start of the Nordic walk (with specific nordic sticks).

  • 02:15 pm: Start of the 20 km race.

  • 02:30 pm: Start of the 14 km race.

  • 04:00 pm: Start of the 7 km unranking race.

  • 08:30 pm: Maxi Cretes' Dinner, with traditional food, songs, music and dances.

  • 08:30 pm: "Bal Musette" and basque songs in front of "Credit Agricole".

Sunday July 8th:
  • 11:00 am: free guided visite of the castle and of the church.

  • 03:30 pm: free demonstration of Force basque.













by Gabi ETXART
2h30' in the marathon in 1975.
Founder of the CRÊTES race. Winner of the first edition and of some other mountain races.
Responsible for its organization during 35 consecutive years without interruption.
President of the Athletism 64 committee from 1981 to 1989.
President of the off-track races during 10 years.





  • Bibs will be collected on Friday between 9am and 8pm and on Saturday morning.


The champions can fly away,
I’m running at my rythm ...

No special preparation is needed for mountain beginners.
This advice applies especially to beginners, i.e. those who have never (or almost) run a mountain race.

In fact, every year, many people discover together the CRETES DU PAYS BASQUE and the mountain race.

Over the last 3 or 4 years, most finishing problems were due to overtraining during the weeks or even the days preceeding the race. Don't make this mistake.

You have to take care of the specific efforts (even the specific route) needed to run a mountain race, especially weather and geographical location. It is not the day to make a personal best.







Honey ! I'm in the middle of this bunch !
It’s steep but not impossible ... I’m pacing.


The secret is not to "burn" yourself in the days preceeding the race or during its first part.

The basic difference between preparing for a marathon or a half marathon is that you may not have a mountain-race circuit close to your living place, whilst most runners can have a macadam route in front of their house and can easily find a training route with indications for distance and timing.

So none of the specific trainings that some beginners have described, with repetitive slope runnings during the last weeks as the most experienced mountaineers can do. The result is often conclusive: a sport disappointment or even a feeling faint. All this quickly disappear in the friendly atmosphere of the CRÊTES race.

A regular training with your usual “half-marathon” or even “10 miles” is quite sufficient.


Don't try to dominate the mountain, but try to deal with it.

Already 7 km and the 3rd refreshment post.
After Ezcandray we’ll reach the Mondarrain.
Great job: I’ve re-fuelled.

Some remarks :

  • The 27 km race can be done in the same time as 35 km of a marathon on flat ground.

  • The 19 km race can be done in the same time as 25 km of a marathon on flat ground.

  • The 7 km race fits to younger runners who wish to discover mountain race. It's almost like an initiation. It's non-ranking in order to avoid any “racing for gold”. It's rather like an introduction to mountain racing for adults.

You should be in excellent physical condition and choose the right distance in function of your own objectives: having fun or performing. And why not both ? You should always keep in mind that next year there will be a new CRETES race.

For the day of the race:

  • Choose your race according to your health and fitness.

  • Pace to the summit of the MONDARAIN, whatever distance you have chosen.

  • In case of very hot weather, only drink water until you reach the summit of the MONDARAIN, in order to avoid overheating caused by excessive consumption of sugar (oranges, dried fruits, etc). After this point, you can make the most of the refreshment points (the one at the top of the MONDARAIN is indispensable, but should not be overdone as there are others every 10 or 15 minutes, and even less for some.




Hew! The summit of the Mondarain !
It's time to have refreshments
and a glance to the wonderful Basque coast at my feet.


  • According to your needs (don't wait to be exhausted !!), you should alternate water (in sips), dried fruits or oranges. There is a “hot tea” stand (highly recommended by all weather) at the "pausa leku" refreshment point at the GAINEKO BORDA hut.

Enjoying your walk :

You have to be self-sufficient: refreshments are for runners. Depending on the atmospheric conditions and the number of runners, certain water stands may be opened to walkers. You should take enough water and other refreshments with you.

The pedestrian routes will be marked in the morning. Walkers can start at their own rhythm from 1:00 pm (beware: this is a change from other years).

Staggered starts on the same route for the first section should eliminate the usual jams at certain points, which cause running difficulties.

The pedestrian route is sometimes the same as the race route. Please give yield of way to the runners !

There are several possible routes, from 10 to 20 km. No sign-up required.

Enjoying the party :







For the evening meal, the first 3,000 to sign-up will have a guaranteed seat in the big marquee (unless specific request at signing up). The other will be in smaller seating areas (300 to 500 seats) with the same entertainment and menus as in the big marquee. This proved to be a very popular improvement since 2005. The intention is not to leave anyone out.

When you get to ESPELETTE, you can collect your meal ticket and go immediately to the seat reservation desk. Seating is computerised on presentation of your meal ticket at the big marquee, wherever you will have your meal.


For those who wish to be seated together for their meal, it is important to register your meal tickets all together. This is particularly important for individuals who wish to eat at the same table as a group previously constituted. Tickets should be grouped together BEFORE the seating. If a group is already seated, it is quite impossible to change their places or the constitution of the group. Don't wait the last minute ! The seating staff will be in place in the Saturday morning from around 9:30.

Tables can seat up to 35 people. For bigger groups, it's preferable to choose two incomplete nearby tables.











On Sunday I can challenge the BASQUES
in a round of FORCE BASQUE strength games.


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