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Têtes de trail : portrait #4

Fabien, 41 years old, is a runner of his own time: he doesn’t take himself seriously, practices a little bit but not too much. Yet he finished many Ultra Trail races along with each and every edition of the EcoTrail Paris.

Fabien is very lively. He likes to cut to the chase and to trust his gut. Sports have always been part of his life: football first, then basketball and finally running. The culprits? His endurance-addicted parents. One runs, the other one bikes. When I was a kid, I went with them. So I turned to athleticism and then to cyclocross quite naturally, he explains. And since I also played football, I already had endurance. At 15 years old, he was on the starting line of the Paris-Versailles. A local race that he finished in 1 hour and 10 minutes and that became one of his go-to races.

The story

His desire to run only increased when he grew up. After running marathons, he needed an excuse to raise the distance. And for his thirtieth birthday, in 2008, he crossed the finish line of the EcoTrail Paris. A first try at an Ultra before making many other running dreams come true: the UTMB, the Grand Raid des Pyrénées, La Diagonale des Fous etc. Fabien likes big races and he knows the consequences of his sports education: he is always committed. When he enters a race, it’s only to finish it, achieve a good physical effort and spend some quality time on his own. Because this 41 years old resident of the Ile-de-France region likes running solo better. “It’s my own moment. An outlet of my daily frustrations. And I’m unable to follow the rhythm of another person.” He barely lets his children, Nathan (11) and Léna (8), run with him for a little while from time to time. Yet he hopes he will be able pass his passion for running onto them. “They are still young but Léna is already taking athleticism. Maybe one day we’ll cross the finish line together. For the time being, my children are watching the live broadcasts of the races I’m running.” A good start!



Healthy in body and mind. Fabien turned the saying into an obsession, just like his parents taught him. Both still follow him as long as they can on his races. He even had the chance of running the last few meters of the 2013 EcoTrail Paris with his mother. “I was having a tough time. We finished together. It helped me.” A beautiful memory for a demure man who does not easily admit his own feelings. But not the most beautiful one. Nothing can beat the EcoTrail Paris 2018 for him. Armed with all his panache, Fabien loved running in the snow and mud. For this mountain enthusiast, it was like stating the obvious. “I love the snow, I love mountains and I love trail-running. It was crazy and it was very hard. I felt like a warrior.” Another way of impressing his whole family, which is always proud of his accomplishments. And another way of comforting him in his desire to run the UTMB again and again. Fabien knows what he wants and he knows who he is. A runner of his own time, sure, but a well-rounded one who definitely deserves to be taken seriously.