Registration FULL MOON Trail


Eric Lechat | Eric Razzoli

Questions asked by Charlotte Raniero from Pure Moment.

Eric Razzoli and Eric Lechat met in 2016 through trail running. Having just arrived in Marseille for a professional assignment, Eric Lechat tried to register for the famous Trail des Calanques in January 2016... 5 days before the race! A phone call to the race director, Eric Razzoli, who took the time to explain to this crazy Parisian that the Trail des Calanques was sold out every year within minutes of the opening of registrations! Never mind, we had a nice chat on the phone and 2 days later, we got a phone call back to offer a last-minute number. The result was race number 001, and a bitterly painful memory for Eric Lechat, not used to the stony, brittle terrain of Provence (which hasn't changed all that much). Above all, it was the start of a beautiful friendship that has lasted ever since.

Here is their story in a few cross-referenced questions


Who are you? Where do you come from?

Eric Lechat

Eric Lechat

I was born in 1973 and grew up near Nantes where I studied. I travelled a bit during my studies, especially in the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates. I did my military service in the cavalry, seconded to Kourou in French Guiana. My first real job was as a salesman in the French wine shop at Epcot Park in Orlando, Florida, at the Walt Disney World Company! I learned Customer Service and above all, I travelled a lot in this country which has mesmerized me.
Then I came back to Paris where I have lived and worked for 15 years in total, with a 5 year break in Bordeaux where my two children were born. I left Paris for Marseille at the end of 2015, under the pretext of a two-year professional mission, but which ended up lasting forever. And I'm happy here!

Eric Razzoli

Eric Razzoli

I am the elder of the two Erics! I was born in 1969 in Saint Antoine, in the northern districts of Marseille at the foot of the Étoile. Father of 3 children, I am rather self-taught and I have had many different jobs: steward, seller then shop manager, salesman, sales manager and key account manager for a major international brand of motorcycle equipment. For several years I have been a professional coach, a mental trainer for sportsmen and women and a trainer for managers and sales forces.


How did you get into trail running?

Eric Lechat

Like many trail runners, I started on the road. I did my first marathon in 2007 (3h40) and after flirting with my personal best (3h11), I wanted to escape the constraints of the road. My first trail was the well-known Saintélyon in December 2010. 68 kms in -10°C weather with snow, ice, and the start at midnight: I had loved this experience! Then I continued to run trails and ultras, with one or two big races maximum per year. My time-consuming job prevents me from preparing seriously for more.

Eric Razzoli

I used to cycle, first on the road, which I practiced in competition as a child, then on mountain bikes for many years. I started running on the road when I was 31, at a time when trail running was called "hill running" and when the choice of shoes was limited to a pair from Asics or New Balance. At the time I used to run at the OM Athletics stadium (Marseilles). I started trail running in 2011 and increased the distances: in 2014, with my first 40km in Barcelonnette, then in 2015 with the 52km of the Xtrem Trail des Dolomites. The following years, I did the Grand Trail des Templiers, the Mad Trail, the 80km du Mont-Blanc, the TDS, the Echappée Belle northern crossing and the Endurance Trail des Templiers.


What about the race organisation?

Eric Lechat

In 2016, my colleague Eric Razzoli asked me to join the team of volunteers who organise the Pichauris Alpine Trail on behalf of FDCAM. At first I was a signaller, then I was assigned to the control of the medical certificates and I was in charge of the registrations, and I became more and more involved in the organisation.

Eric Razzoli

When I was very young, I organised an adventure raids in the mountains for the Decathlon works council, bringing together teams from all over France and Europe. In 2012 the Calanques became the Calanques National Park. As a trailer and a simple member of the Club Alpin Marseille, I was asked to restructure the Trail des Calanques to make it conform to the requirements of the National Park. I have been the race director for 5 editions. In May 2015 I co-created the Alpin Trail de Pichauris on behalf of the Comité Départemental des Clubs Alpins. On November 11, 2015, 400 runners were at the start of the first edition. Today the Alpin Trail de Pichauris gathers nearly 1000 runners and has become one of the major trail events in the region and the only race to offer an Ultra format in the department.


Where did the idea of creating the Full Moon Trail come from?

Eric Lechat

First of all, I wanted to help people discover my adopted region and our trails, which go through some incredible sites. This region deserves to be showcased, and I wanted to show how warm and welcoming the people of the south are.
The route was a natural choice: to draw a large hilly link between the two large cities of the Metropolis, so beautiful but so different.
And finally, the night format so that the runners could enjoy the cool night air, the muffled sounds, the shadows on the hills with the full moon and finally the plunging arrival over Marseille at the end of the night or at dawn.
In short, the common thread is to offer a beautiful event, so that the runners and their companions leave with stars in their eyes and the desire to come back and see us.

And with Eric we are very complementary, we each do the part that we like the most: I connect the actors of the territory, and Eric manages the race logistics, the more administrative part and the creation of the routes. He loves it and knows the trails like the back of his hand, especially the north of Marseille where he lives.

Eric Razzoli

To tell the truth, I rather like technical races with strong differences in altitude. However, the idea of linking the bourgeois Aix-en-Provence to the popular Marseille had been on my mind for a long time. A few friends had organised the "Diagonale des Fadas" which linked Aix to Marseille through all the major mountain ranges of the region, but the format was hampered by the passage through the calanques which limited the number of participants to 100, due to the PN rule. When Eric spoke to me about this project, he imagined a marathon and then we came up with the idea of doing a big nature race. The idea was to offer a format that would bring together and appeal to both road and trail runners. Here our playing field is incredible, especially the part of the race through the northern districts of Marseille and the GR2013 which will be a spectacular discovery for many. I really enjoy the idea.


What are your three best racing memories?

Eric Lechat

Emotionnally speaking, the strongest was without a doubt the CCC in 2011. First "big" race for me, with terrible weather that year. I was not seasoned yet for ultra trail and I had struggled mentally to get to the arrival.

The funniest was the Jurassic Coast 100 miles, on the south coast of England in June 2019. I had driven across France from Marseille, picking up my little brother and son in Paris, and then we had crossed the Channel to the start of this race which runs along the south coast of England. My two budding companions had a great time following me all day and night, with their level of English as approximate as the car's GPS! A great memory.

And finally, in 2017 the 100 kms of Millau with my son Bastien who accompanied me for 60 kilometres on his little mountain bike, at the age of 14. I loved giving him this experience as a father.

Eric Razzoli

My most beautiful race memory will remain the TDS, my first "Ultra"... Before that my only big race was the 80km of Mont Blanc a year earlier where I had suffered a lot but where I had finished whereas that year because of the heat there had been 60% of withdrawals. The TDS gave me extraordinary emotions and made me love long distances. I remember I started slowly, then climbed nearly 600 places to finish like a rocket between Les Houches and Cham and crossed the finish line in 21:33 in 149th place overall. Too proud!


What advice would you give to someone who is going to run the Full Moon Trail?

Eric Lechat

Be careful with rocks, they grow everywhere here and especially in the middle of the paths! No, more seriously, rest well the day before the start, and take a nap on Saturday afternoon. The course is fast and could make you want to let go at the halfway point, but be careful not to burn yourself out because the last urban climbs before the finish will hurt.

Eric Razzoli

Manage your race well, it is a very fast course but also very demanding. Our hills offer short but steep climbs and the finish in Marseille is full of "ass kicking" that burns your thighs. And then the main advice I would give is to open your eyes and take advantage of the magnificent views over the harbour of Marseille, the blue coast, the islands of Frioul, the Château d'If and Marseilleveyre.


What about good spots for accompanying persons?

Eric Lechat

If I were a runner, I would love to meet up with my family and friends on the Stars in the early hours.

Eric Razzoli

There will be a refreshment area and an extraordinary view of Marseille at Grand Littoral.


How did the first edition go?

Eric Lechat

The runners and volunteers speak best of it: we received so many messages of thanks after the race, we did not expect so much enthusiasm.

Runners, volunteers, partners, elected officials, etc.: everyone is asking for the 2nd edition. On the evening of April 17, we had already identified a lot of possible improvements. And the survey among the runners confirmed it: the ravito at the finish, the ascent to the Grande Etoile by the television road to be corrected, the departure of the Phocéa course on the Departmental road...

We will correct these small defects! But we especially remember that we will keep 95% of this 1st edition, which was unanimously approved.

Eric Razzoli

It was a crazy night! The excitement for us to materialize two years of work, added to the emotion of the pioneers at the start of the two races, we will remember it for a long time!

This 1st edition went "almost" as planned. In reality we had to face a lot of pitfalls throughout the night, it was surely as grueling as running! But our pride is that all these pitfalls were managed and for the runners it was transparent and they were able to accomplish their performance in the best conditions 😊


Why do we run?

Eric Lechat

To feel alive, to feel calm, to connect with people. We are lucky to be in such good shape and health that we can run like this. So we should make the most of it!

Eric Razzoli

To meet yourself, to be in contact with nature, to go and find what the Americans call Flow, that optimal experience that puts you on a cloud and allows you to be "here and now".