“I like to run off marked paths”

Mathieu Blanchard: “I like to run off marked paths”

You publish Vivre d’aventures, make our mouths water…

In this book, I tell the story of my atypical journey, with its ups and downs. Engineer with a clear professional destiny, I decided to change my life at the dawn of my thirties by embarking on a career as a professional athlete in the world of running. (the ultra-trail, Editor’s note).

What does this book reveal about you?

My desire for freedom. Pragmatic and Cartesian at the start, I dared to go off the marked paths of life after my younger brother’s accident.

The music that makes you happy in the morning?

Running or pedaling, I listen At Moments Apart, an instrumental piece by the Canadian group Odesza, a source of escape.

The most important people in your family?

My paternal grandparents watched over me when my parents traveled the world. My Provençal grandpa passed on to me the love of nature and of… picnics of black olives, sausage and Roquefort cheese tasted in our Luberon mountains.

You have three days, a backpack and no car. Where are you leaving?

On the trails of the Ecrins National Park (Alps), one of the most preserved in France. With its azure blue lakes, marmots and chamois, it is a magnificent place!

A good plan to reconnect with nature?

Sleep under the stars! Even if in Quebec – where I live – the sounds of bears are a bit stressful at night…

What would you walk for?

related to physical disability. My brother Luca has had a prosthetic leg since the age of 15, following a road accident. In 2022, I traveled the Jordanian desert with him during the Half Marathon des Sables race.

An inspiring place where you like to take refuge?

The bottom of the oceans, during my scuba dives. It is a place of very strong meditation, without words and in slow motion. The energy of nature rejuvenates me.

You are offered immortality. You sign?

No, because if I were immortal, I wouldn’t live my adventures so intensely. Far from wanting to dominate nature by accomplishing exploits, I act every day with my wounds and my frailties as a mere mortal.

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