Ultra Trail Madagascar special guest for this year is Alain Bustin. This Belgian runner is well-know in the European trail running world. He is also a writer and a reporter for the French Magazine “Esprit Trail”. At almost 68 years old, he will run the race to experience fully the event and write a promising article about it.
Racing Madagascar : Tell us more about you.
Alain: I live in Chamonix (French Alps), I am nearly 68 years old, and I am a writer and a reporter. I am also involved in the biggest trail running events in Chamonix such as UTMB (Ultra Trail Mont Blanc) or the Mont Blanc Marathon. My retirement is 200% busy!
Racing Madagascar : What sports do you do?
Alain: I am passionate by the mountains. In the summer, I hike and run there and in the winter I do Nordic skiing.
Racing Madagascar : For how long are you running?
Alain: I started to run again when I was 40. When I was a kid, I did a little cross country running. I started running in the mountain in 1993 and ultra distance running in 2003. Before that, I used to run a lot of marathons worldwide.
Racing Madagascar : How do you train?
Alain: Now, only the pleasure worth to me to run. I do not follow a training program. I train more when I want and when my body allows to. I usually run 4 to 5 times a week, always on trails and with level difference obviously. I am fond of long & contemplative runs.
Racing Madagascar : What is the hardest race you ever ran?
Alain: The GR20 in Corsica. The terrain is very technical and I had almost no experience on this kind of physical effort back at this time (2003). I took me more than a year to recover!
Racing Madagascar : How did you heard about Ultra Trail Madagascar ?
Alain: I heard about the race from its reputation. I spoke about it with runners when I did the Costa Rica Ultra Trail, which is also a stage race.
Racing Madagascar : Knowing your busy schedule every year (Reports, races…), what convinced you to come to Ultra Trail Madagascar 2018 instead of another race?
Alain: A talk around a good beer with Cedric Thomsen (communication manager) in Chamonix last year! Moreover, it will be my first time in Madagascar.
Racing Madagascar : What are you expecting from Madagascar Ultra Trail 2018?
Alain: Another running experience, meeting with new people. I am looking to have fun and hoping to finish a probably difficult race. I will have to manage my physical condition, as for every stage race!
Racing Madagascar : What are your next challenges for this year?
Alain: End of August, I am going to run the MCC (Martigny-Combe Chamonix). It is the new race part of the UTMB event. I am deeply involved in the organization of the UTMB, as volunteer with responsibilities . After that, nothing is decided yet. It will be along my physical shape and the reports I have to do!