How old are you ? 43
What do you do professionally ? I'm in charge of international negotiations for a governmental organization. Currently I am in charge of some countries in the Asia and Oceania region.
Where are you from and where do you currently live ? I come from a small 400 inhabitants village south of Seine et Marne / Ile de France. Since 2005 I've been expatriated in Belgium, close to Brussels.
What has been your sports path ? As a teenager I played Rugby, until I got injured at the cervical vertebrae when I was 25. Then I took over some supervisory and training responsibilities.
When did you start practicing triathlon ? I have always swam, biked and ran as cross training or in the off season, but I never put them together. I have even recently found, at my parents home, a bike I received as my first communion gift (a Peugeot bike equipped with extension bars - equipment has evolved a lot since). I started the triathlon in 2009.
Why did you choose the ultra distance ? That was more a path than a choice. My first year I started with a 70.3(R), the long distance triathlon in Alpe d'Huez and the Chtriman of Cambrai before trying my first double ironman (7.6 - 360 - 84.4) the following year. I believe I leaned towards the ultra distance for several reasons, firstly thanks to my relatively good performance, and secondly but most importantly for me thanks to the very special atmosphere that surrounds this fairly special family. The ultras bring out a human dimension and a rapport with others that I have been unable to find in other more commercial competition formats. It is a state of mind where pushing one's limits is even more present than in the traditional triathlon formats. Further the respect for all participants, be it competitors of just finishers, is even more present that the more commercial races. Everybody knows everybody else at the end of each race.
What is your experience in the ultras ? I've done several tens of thousands of kilometers between competition and training, 5 medium distance triathlons, 12 full or equivalent triathlons of which 6 in so many consecutive days, 9 double ultra triathlons (7.6 - 360 - 84.4), 2 triple ultra triathlons (11.4 - 540 - 126.6), a 48 hour treadmill challenge, third place rankings in both the 2012 and 2013 world cup. The X Challenge in 2014 (76 km swim, 3600 km bike and 270 km run in 20 days), the English Channel cross in 2015, the Tour de France in 11 days and 20 hours by bike (The Detour France) in 2016.
What is your best competition memory ? Due to the special character of each competition and their strong emotional dimension exacerbated by the hours of efforts, I have many fond memories. My best memories are likely all my mano a mano with Charles Kemeny (US), Kamil Suran (CZE) and Steve Harvey (GBR) for our podium battles. My Double UK Enduroman win by 10 mins over Steve after 24 hours of racing remains most memorable. That day mutual respect doubled by a great friendship was born.
How many weekly hours do you train ? I train 20 hours a week during the low season increasing to over 40 hours a week during the peak training season. Twice a day I commute to and from the office either running or biking (at least 20 kms each way) which allows me to earn 2 - 4 hours of daily training. I also allow myself 3-4 weeks of almost full rest yearly after my competitions.
What is your favorite sport ? Without a doubt biking, my strong point.
What is your favorite training session ? Both my long lonely night or early morning raids, in the forest, lit by my headlamp as well as the moment where I join my training partners for the last 30 kms running or 100 kms biking. The former has a relaxing effect while the latter has a liberating one.
What has been your craziest traing session ? A 10-hour winter session in my indoor trainer for the 2012 double Anvil Florida Triathlon.