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Trail heads : story #2

Julien is a Parisian banker. But he is also a finisher of all EcoTrail races. And his next goal is the UTMB, in August.

As a troublemaker, Julien likes the unexpected. During the 90’s, he was a windsurfing enthusiast. Things changed, when he chose to become a banker. Trail running became his new favorite sport. At first, it was marathon, because he didn’t want to become a desperate quadragenarian. And when the diktat of the stopwatch became too much, he turned to trail running.

The story

Today, Julien is an ultra-trailer. In seven years of trail running, he never chose the easy target. He is a workaholic, an adventurer and all he wants is to surpass himself. He is a dreamer, who’s fighting against… age. "When I signed up for the Paris Marathon in 2011, I wanted to prove myself and my friends that I wasn’t an old man yet." Challenges then came along naturally, even though it can sometimes be hard to mix elevation fantasies with a working life in Paris. But he found the right middle ground, despite some sacrifices. He spends more time at the gym than at the pub. Twice a week, he trains at the Bois de Boulogne on his lunch time. And most of the weekends are spent running. On Saturday, he wakes up at the crack of dawn to go running while everybody, including his phone, is asleep. Those are his longest running sessions. And on Sunday? He usually enjoys a quick family jog in the woods, with his wife and both his girls, Capucine, 12, and Olympe, 9. Because Julien wants to "avoid isolation. It’s the biggest risk you face when practicing a lot."

 80km with his head in the stars

Julien believes that running is worth all the antidepressants in the world. "It gives me the energy I need. It’s exhilarating. It helps me to prepare meetings, clear major files and plan the next week ahead." You could almost say it turned into an obsession. But Julien doesn’t agree. He is completely in control of his race management, thanks to very specific criteria. Each preparation is close to perfection. Cardio, muscular strengthening, visualisation… nothing is left to chance, whatever the race.

All this hard work and dedication helped him finish the Saintélyon, the Templiers, the Grand Raid du Morbihan, and each EcoTrail race. "This event is like a ritual to me. And one of my fondest running memories". In 2015, Julien finished the 80km for the first time. "I climbed the Eiffel Tower’s steps as it was lighting up. It was like I had my head in the stars…" A dream come true for the trail runner. And a foretaste of the emotion Julien might feel at the UTMB, on August. He also wants to run the 80km of the EcoTrail again, to integrate it in his preparation. We wish him the best, and hope that he will succeed in this challenge. Until he finds a new one, to process the perspective of turning 50.