Näak Ambassador Mathieu Blanchard
“through sport I have established stable and lasting happiness."
Naturally full of energy, I have always been athletic. Having grown up near the sea, my first sports were linked to the environment: I did a lot of scuba diving and eventually became an instructor. Filled with adrenaline, I also practiced some board sports such as kitesurfing, BMX and snowboarding. I discovered endurance sports when I arrived in Quebec in 2014, specifically road running. After specializing in road running, I discovered a passion for ultra trail running in 2017. I would say that my main personal achievements through sport are blossoming as a person, finding meaning in my life, meeting a beautiful community and sharing precious moments, establishing stable happiness and sustainability.
My main achievements in competition: 1st Transalpine, 1st QMT, 1st Trans Martinique, 2nd UTWT Tarawera, 13th UTMB (https://www.mathieu-blanchard.com/courses)
My future personal projects: great adventures of FKT type (Fastest Known Time) and creating content through racing adventures while incorporating an environmental component (stories, documentary films, books, etc.).
My future plans in competition: go play at the top of the UTWT racing table.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU EVERY DAY TO TRAIN?
Sport is part of my identity, so motivation comes naturally. I consider physical activity as an integral part of my daily life for both physical and mental health. I also have a deep love for nature, and my sport gives me the connection that I need to nature since I spend a lot of time outdoors. We can also view ultras as great adventures, which, in addition to running, integrate other factors that motivate me a lot: surpassing oneself, a strong community, competition, and quest for meaning.
DO YOU HAVE A PERSON WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I am inspired by many sportsmen and other adventurers whom I discovered throughout my journey. For example, I recently met Bethany Hamilton: a surfer who at the age of 12 was attacked by a shark and lost an arm. However, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a professional surfer; her courage and dedication allowed her to achieve her dream.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR NOT LOSING ENERGY DURING your ultra races?
The most important thing in my opinion is to be both physically as well as mentally prepared, which entails following an adequate training program. During the race, an effort management strategy coupled with good nutritional management allows for a consistent level of energy.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST RACING MEMORY?
My best memory is my entire experience of the 2018 UTMB run: the 6 month preparation, the adrenaline at the start, the whole race with its ups and downs, and the support of my family.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU LIKE TO DO AFTER A RACE?
Sit in a restaurant and order a huge pizza with a pint of beer. I like to finish this meal with a big ice cream that I eat while walking down the street to stretch my tired legs.
What is your favorite music to surpass yourself in training?
Right now I'm more of a podcast listener because they inspire me to go beyond. I particularly enjoy: Walkman, I'm taking you on a trip, Science of ultra, Koopcast, In the head of a runner…
What is your favourite Näak product?
The Mocha Hazelnut Ultra Energy Bar!