250 KM AROUND PARIS FOR ECOLOGY, THE HUGE CHALLENGE OF ULTRA-TRAILER XAVIER THÉVENARD
Xavier Thévenard, triple winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, sets off this Wednesday on a course of 250 kilometers in Île-de-France. The goal: to make young people aware of ecology during this 100% green journey.
250 kilometers, running, cycling, kayaking: this is the vast program that awaits Xavier Thévenard from this Wednesday. Three times winner of the Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc, one of the most prestigious races in the world, the Jurassien will complete this course over three days. A loop from Creps d’Ile-de-France, south-west of Paris, to INSEP, to the south-east. With one main theme: environmental protection. “With my partner (the Maif, editor’s note), we wanted to show that it is still possible, in one of the most urbanized places in France, to find corners of nature and greenery, he slips. And that It is important to raise awareness of environmental issues, the consequences of climate change. We all come from the natural environment, from biodiversity, we must be aware of this.”
A longer distance than expected
Xavier Thévenard will only take natural places on his route, “green corridors”, nautical bases, forests, leisure islands… And we had to rack our brains. “When creating this route, we realized that finding ecological corridors, green woods, somewhat natural areas was not so easy. We had set off on a tour of a hundred kilometers or a hundred -fifty at the most and we didn’t get there. We had to widen the perimeter.”
The 34-year-old runner will meet young people from schools or sports clubs on his journey to discuss the subject of ecology and climate change. “It’s important to relay the information to them because they will also have this problem to solve. Education is fundamental. And a child, if he relays this to his parents, it will have weight. The child is real, whole, we are sensitive to a child. So it is important that they are educated.”
For several years, Xavier Thévenard has been committed to the theme of the environment. He never takes the plane, travels on foot as much as possible and has an old farmhouse in the Jura renovated so that it becomes eco-friendly, self-sufficient. The observations drawn recently encourage him all the more to seize this theme: “I have always bathed in a natural environment and I have always paid attention to the fauna and flora. I come from the Jura, where the forest is cool and humid, and this summer there were forest fires…, he sighs. We know where we are going, scientists are warning us enough, we have to listen to them. Travel on foot and by bike , that’s the future. We, as athletes, can relay information because we are audible and listened to.”