The men’s gold medallist at the 2015 Montreal Oasis Rock’n’roll Marathon leaves nothing to chance. Patient, disciplined, methodical, he explains what running has meant to his life and the steps that brought him to the top of the podium.
1. How did running enter your life?
I’ve always been athletic. I started playing winter hockey at the age of three and summer tennis around five. I was greatly influenced by my father who practiced both these sports. At 12, I was teaching tennis, then I pursued both activities until I turned 25. At the same time, around 22 years old, I became interested in endurance sports, especially canoe races. I turned to running two years later. In 2007, I entered a half-marathon and finished with a time of 1 hour 23 mins; I came in fifteen out of 350 runners. That’s when I realized I seriously wanted to compete in this sport.
2. You have two children. How do you succeed in juggling both training and family life?
I have to admit it’s the hardest part to manage. Both my wife and I work full-time, so with two kids, you need to be creative to find the time needed to train. For example, at lunchtime, I take an hour and a half so I can run 15 km: one hour to train, 10 minutes to shower, and 20 minutes to eat. After work, I put my son Leo in his stroller, then off we go to run another 10 to 15 km with him. Meanwhile, my wife prepares dinner while taking care of our oldest, our daughter Mahélie. I keep to this routine Monday through Friday. On weekends, I run an intense 30 to 35 km on Saturdays, then a slower-paced 20 km on Sundays. I train between six and nine a.m. so I can spend time with my family the rest of the day.
3. What was your goal for the Oasis Rock’nRoll Marathon?
It was the podium. I was aiming for third place, so I was doubly thrilled to finish first!