In November 2015 I had the pleasure of partaking in Reunion’s 2nd edition of a very different race the – Tropica’dingue. Those whose who are familiar with this event, know that it roughly translates to lots of crazy people running around looking extremely ridiculous under a hot tropical sun.

It is however, a little more structured than that.

The race is 12kms long, full of obstacles, it’s done in teams and most importantly – everybody has to dress up! Start times are staggered in the aim of reducing human traffic jams at each obstacle. This was even more important for the second edition given that the number of participants had gone up from 900 in 2014 to 3,500 in 2015.

Before getting underway all participants are invited to take part in the official ‘warm-up’. This is a great opportunity to check out everyone’s costume. For me, this is by far the highlight of the day. The effort people go to is truly impressive. This year my team, team ‘Zourite’, decided to dress up as octopi. We were dressed in blue and had a dressmaker design and make a wig in the form of an octopus head equipped with eyes, tentacles and all. We achieved our goal of looking as silly as we could but were still outdone by many others!

The minions were quite a popular theme as were pirates, surfers (with actual surfboards), fireman, cowboys, men in actual nappies, penguin onesies, superheroes and much, much more.

My personal favourite were the Flying Scotsman. No idea if that was their team name but as they passed us during the race, the group of young lads were very proud to show us that they’d respected the tradition of wearing no underwear underneath the kilts!

The aim of the day is to a) have fun, b) dress up and look silly c) have some more fun! The beauty of the Tropica’dingue is that there are no prizes for finishing first. Everyone is just there to muck around. It’s also perfect for those who don’t typically do a lot of sport as you can walk the whole 12kms if you like. And if you really don’t want to complete an obstacle, you can just walk around it and proceed to the next one.

However, the obstacles are what make the race. Some are physically hard and require a good dose of teamwork, others are easy, some are just fun; dancing to loud music in a tent in the middle of nowhere, some are dirty; jumping into an enormous mud bath, but all are downright entertaining.

Anyway, I won’t give too much more away, you’ll just have to sign up for the 3rd edition to find out for yourselves!


to partake – assister, participer
roughly – à peu près
to dress up – se déguiser
to stagger – étaler
to get underway – se lancer

costume – déguisement
by far – de loin
highlight – temps fort, moment le plus marquant
dressmaker – couturière
wig – perruque

as silly as – aussi débile que
outdone – faire mieux que
nappy – couche
onesie – combinaison intégral
lad – gars

underneath – sous
to muck around – faire l’imbécile
dirty – sale
downright – carrément, franchement
sign-up – s’inscrire

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