LET'S TALK MOUNTAIN RUNNING EPISODE 2: RÉMI LEROUX (CAN)
LET'S TALK MOUNTAIN RUNNING EPISODE 2: RÉMI LEROUX (CAN)
THE CANADIAN DETERMINATION
Rémi European Mountain Running Adventures, as he call them in his youtube channel, started with a 25° position in the Uphill race at the Mountain Running World Championship in Stubai. Soon after took part in a few other races across Europe where Rémi showcased his prowess by securing the second position in the esteemed Mont-Blanc KV. Alongside his fellow Canadian teammate, Alexandre Richard, Rémi headed to Castro Daire, Portugal, for the Montemuro Vertical Race, Golden Label Valsir Mountain Running World Cup. The duo dominated the event, proudly claiming the podium, with Rémi achieving an impressive second-place finish at the pinnacle of the race.
After a hiatus of two months back in Canada, Rémi made a triumphant return to Europe, firstly finishing 12° at the WMRA Asscoiated Race Challenge Stellina and for the first time forming a Canadian Team. Short after Stellina, Rémi Leroux (CAN) claimed the 7° place at Vertical Nasego, Golden Label Valsir Mountain Running World Cup, from where he travelled to the Spanish Pyrenees first for a training camp in the beautiful Ordesa Valley and them another obtaining a remarkable 2° at the Canfranc Uphill,Golden Label Valsir Mountain Running World Cup, and an impressive 4°in the CanfrancCanfranc Classic distance just the day after the Uphill. His determination propelled him steadily upward in the final World Cup classification, showcasing his unwavering determination and steady climb through the ranks.
By the end of September he was fighting for the podium with the fellow World Cup runner, Joe Steward (GBR), and Rémi played his cards by running at the Silver Label race, Primiero Dolomiti,a nd placing 2°. With short time to recover and together with some other World Cup runners travelled to Slovenia for the to the Classic Šmarna Gora, Valsir Mountain Running World Cup Silver Label race, where we saw Rémi again in the podium by finishing 3°.
Once again on the road, October was the month for the Valsir Mountain Running Wolrd Cup Finlaissima in Gran Canaria, Spain, and Rémi was really having a fight for the podium with Joe Steward (GBR), with very little points separating each other, which was only solved by Joe winning the Uphill race at the Finlaissima in Gran Canaria, where Rémi finished 6° and just two days later, Joe finished 4° and Rémi 6° at the Finalissima Sky Gran Canaria Classic distance.
At the end of the season, Rémi Leroux (CAN) has finished 4° in the Men's overall Valsir Mountain Running World Cup during his inaugural participation in the World Cup, Rémi exhibited exceptional competitiveness and unwavering athlete determination, consistently striving to conquer higher positions with each subsequent challenge.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM, WHAT IS YOUR HOMETOWN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
I grew up and currently live in the province of Quebec, in Canada.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE COMPETING IN THE VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP 2023?
In the last 5 years, I’ve mainly competed in ultra trail races. In 2022 I realized that I much more prefer racing shorter mountain running races, so I decided to focus mainly on the World Cup this year. It’s been a long season for me competing in 9 world cup races + 8 other mountain running races!
MOUNTAIN RUNNING IS A PHYSICALLY DEMANDING SPORT. COULD YOU SHARE SOME INSIGHTS INTO YOUR TRAINING AND PREPARATION LEADING UP TO THE WORLD CUP? HOW DO YOU TRAIN IN WINTER? DO YOU COMBINE DISCIPLINES SKI, BIKE, RUNNING?
Transitioning from ultra to mountain running, I’ve significantly increased the amount of intensity in my training. In my preparation phase, 3-4 days per week are ‘intensity days’ where I do intervals at a fast pace. I do most of these sessions running uphill since it is less risky for injury and is in my opinion more fun. The rest of the days I still train but at an easy effort, most of the time still in the mountains.
Winters are tough and unpredictable in Quebec, so I constantly must be ready to change my training depending on the conditions. If running is not an option, I do skimo or stay indoors Zwifting on my bike.
SPONSORSHIP PLAYS A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN AN ATHLETE'S SUCCESS. COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR SPONSORS/TEAM?
I am sponsored by Merrell. I used their Skyfire 2 shoes at all my races this year which I think are great, especially for the vertical events.
WITH 16 RACES IN 8 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, EACH COURSE HAD ITS UNIQUE CHALLENGES. CAN YOU HIGHLIGHT
THE BEST LANDSCAPE RACE- NASEGO VERTICAL
THE MOST DIFFCIULT/TECHNICAL CANFRANCCANFRANC CLASSIC
THE COMPETITION IN THE MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP IS FIERCE. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A COMPETITIVE EDGE AND STAY MOTIVATED THROUGHOUT THE SEASON?
Doing so many races this season, I had to be careful to not create excuses for myself and not let my brain convince my legs to go easy to preserve energy for another race. For me, there’s no point of racing if I’m not going to give it my 100% so I approached each race as if it was my last of the season (which could’ve realistically happened with injury).
CAN YOU SHARE ANY PRE-RACE RITUALS OR MENTAL TECHNIQUES YOU RELY ON TO KEEP YOUR PERFORMANCE CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT THE WORLD CUP?
It is easy to get intimidated and slow down when you see that you are running with so many fast athletes, so I reminded myself before every race that I belonged there. The first step to reaching the level of the top athletes is believing that you are at their level.
FINALLY, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE RACE/MOMENT DURING THE VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP, AND WHAT MADE IT SPECIAL TO YOU?
Impossible to limit myself to a single moment, but I’d say my favourite thing was getting to know and appreciating the mountain running culture. Everyone implicated in the sport; from runners to organizers to media people; everyone shares the same value of authenticity, and everyone is truly passionate by the sport. I can’t wait to be back next year 😊