Näak Ambassador Mathieu Blanchard
Professional Trail Runner
“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run..." - Forrest Gump
Running in wilderness and scuba diving forge my philosophy of life. They offer me a way to reconnect with myself and to explore the world. Through them, I can confront danger, I can confront my own fears, but most importantly, I have learned to let go, accept physiological, psychological and climatic constraints, and finally connect to this other universe that is the bottom of the oceans to the top of the mountains.
My main achievements in competition: 1st XTERRA GOZO Trails 2022, 1st Cappadocia Ultra-Trail® 2021 - CMT, 3rd UTMB® 2021 171km.
My personal future projects: big adventures like FKT (Fastest Know Time), content creation through racing adventures with an environmental component (stories, documentary films, books...).
My main goal is the UTMB and rank among the best in the UTMB World Series!
What motivates you every day to train?
Sport is part of my identity, so motivation comes naturally. I consider that physical activity is a way of life, and must be an integral part of our daily life for our physical and mental health. I have a deep love for nature, my sport allows me to spend a lot of time there, it's a connection I need. Ultras can also be seen as great adventures, which, in addition to the fact of running, integrate other factors that motivate me a lot: surpassing oneself, strong community, competition, and quest for meaning.
Is there someone who inspires you?
JI am inspired by many sportsmen or other adventurers that I discover in my journey. For example, I recently discovered Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who was attacked by a shark at the age of 12 and lost an arm. She never gave up on her dream of becoming a professional surfer, courage and dedication allowed her to achieve it.
What are your tips for not having a drop in energy during an ultra trail?
The most important thing in my opinion is to be ready, and therefore to have followed an adequate training program on the physical but also mental level. Then during the race, a strategy of effort management, coupled with a good nutritional management will allow to have a constant energy level.
What is your best racing memory?
My best memory is the UTMB run in 2018, for the whole adventure: the preparation during 6 months, the adrenaline of 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?
Sitting in a restaurant and ordering a huge pizza with a pint of beer. I like to finish this meal with a large ice cream that I take while walking down the street to stretch my tired legs.
What is your favorite music to get you through your workout?
At the moment I'm more into podcasts, some of them inspire me in my overcoming, especially: Les baladeurs, Je t’emmène en Voyage, Science of ultra, Koopcast, Dans la Tête d’un coureur…
What is your favorite Näak product?
The Ultra Energy Macchiato Caffeine Bar!