- The 2020 season was very frustrating for trail runners, with almost all of the major races canceled (UTMB, Diagonale des Fous, SaintéLyon, etc.) due to the Covid-19.
- IT project manager for JC Decaux in Paris, Alexandre Boucheix (29), known on social networks as “Green Cap”, has taken on the crazy gamble of completing this year by having run 10,000 km.
- The winner of the LyonSaintéLyon had already distinguished himself in 2017 by boosting the unusual Ultra-Trail de Montmartre, with 271 round-trip journeys on the menu in the most touristy staircases in Paris.
10,108 km and more than 34 days spent running. This is the Strava report for the year 2020 of ultra-traileur Alexandre Boucheix. The 29-year-old Parisian runner has covered the equivalent of 238 marathons, “and even a quarter-turn of the Earth”, in this trail season almost reduced to nothing because of the Covid-19. The winner of the first edition of LyonSaintéLyon (154 km) in December 2019 had to settle for five races last year (he had scheduled about fifteen), with two podiums on the Ultra 01 (170 km ) and the Ultra-Trail of the Jura Mountains (180 km).
Used to running at 6,000 or 7,000 km on the clock over a “classic” year, Alexandre Boucheix began to explode his averages from the first confinement in March, during which he experienced partial unemployment. He first trained in his 25 m2 garden. “A trench was dug there, as if a flying saucer had landed at my house,” he laughs. A neighbor then lends him a treadmill, and off he goes for 50 km a day until deconfinement.
[🎖 RÉTROSPECTIVE 2020 👽] • 10,108 km • 819 h • 5 official races • 1 victory (🏆 Issy Urbain Trail – 30 km) • 3 podiums (🥉 EnduRance Trail des Corsaires – 98 km) | (🥉Ultra01 – 175 km) | (🥈Ultra Trail des Montagnes du Jura – 186 km) pic.twitter.com/ZvVeAoKY0g
– Green Cap (@casquetteverte) December 31, 2020
“My ultras took place in nightclubs”
“It was clearly not fun, but I wanted to live it the hard way, facing my white wall. My perfs were not going to improve if I spent my days on Netflix. I forged a mind to refuse to give up the slightest race and it was necessary to maintain that. “By returning to his outings in the Bois de Vincennes in May, this IT project manager for JC Decaux took to the game, during the fall, of exceeding the symbolic bar of 10,000 km traveled in 2020. It’s done. just before Christmas, without the slightest break, except for a foot injury that took him away from his sneakers for a fortnight.
Amateur handball and skateboarding as a teenager, Alexandre Boucheix was not really destined for such a dingo performance, namely a year completed at 28 km per day on average: “When I was in business school, my ultras took place in nightclubs until 7 a.m. The prospect of being then glued to my chair at work, with my tie, pushed me to move ”.
“Traveling 70 km was for me the absolute feat, the end of game “
One of his colleagues, Ronald Bouteille, will trigger a vocation in 2015. “He farted at the coffee machine after running 30 terminals, and that tickled me”, he recalls. A few weeks after “spitting out his lungs” in the Bois de Vincennes, he enrolled in the Paris half-marathon. The Paris marathon follows a month later, completed “in 4h30 and in suffering”.
Always pushed by his colleague and friend Ronald, he discovered the “adventure aspect” of the night trail by finishing his first SaintéLyon in almost 11 hours in December 2015. “It was already enormous to feel like a marathoner, but there, to travel 70 km in such difficult conditions, it was for me the absolute feat, the end of the game. I had never heard of ultra and I was not aware that crazy people made the round trip between Lyon and Saint-Etienne, for example, via the 180. “
– 20 Minutes (@ 20Minutes) December 2, 2016
An entry to the Diagonale des Fous when you come back from the box
Four years later and with 20 kg less, Alexandre Boucheix became the leader of these “crazy”, after winning the LyonSaintéLyon in its first official version. “I now see the classic SaintéLyon as a sprint, and it is clear that I can only win races with more than 130 terminals”. His entry into the world of ultra-trail took place two years after his first jog, in a hasty manner to say the least.
I had already planned to do the CCC in the summer [la version 100 km de l’Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc] and I’m doing the bullshit, coming back from a club dead drunk in February 2017, to register for the Diagonale des Fous [165 km et 9.580 m de dénivelé positif) programmée en octobre. J’étais tombé sur une vidéo durant la soirée mais je n’avais encore jamais couru plus de 80 bornes à ce moment-là. »
Sur l’Ile de la Réunion, c’est la révélation : il se classe 82e en bouclant l’une des courses les plus redoutables au monde en 33h30, « sans dormir une minute ». Une performance d’autant plus étonnante qu’en tant que « Parisien pur et dur », il ne s’entraîne jamais à la montagne. Son truc à lui, c’est d’enchaîner parfois trois tours de Paris afin d’atteindre la centaine de bornes parcourues. En quête de dénivelé, il a l’habitude de « faire le hamster en enchaînant les montées-descentes dans la côte de Gravelle [23 m de D +] in the Bois de Vincennes ”.
The Ultra-Trail de Montmartre, “a real thing of the living dead”
To defend his city of heart, Alexandre Boucheix even launched in 2017 in off the first ultra race in the capital, in terms of its vertical drop if not its distance. “We don’t have a mountain but we have ideas, and we wanted to take revenge on the mountain people who don’t give a damn about us”, smiles the informal organizer of this event.
Ultra-Trail de Montmartre “A little stupid”. And for good reason, you have to swallow the tourist stairs along the funicular 271 times in and out and back, as long as you do two days after Christmas.
“It’s a real thing of the living dead to spend between 16 and 25 hours non-stop on the stairs,” admits the one who has become one of the six finishers (out of 60 participants in three editions), of this traumatic event of 11,650 m of D +, over a distance of 80 km. Able to “inquire about 4 liters of beer” after a race of 100 terminals, Alexandre Boucheix has also inherited a nickname in the ultra universe, by not dropping a green cap symbolically found in a box of his time as president. of the BDE of business school.
70 milestones traveled on the UTMB… despite a broken big toe!
“Rather than posting my dripping face after my races, I got into the habit of putting this cap on, a bit like Amélie Poulain sends pictures of garden gnomes on a trip. Soon enough, I was treated to “Come on Green cap“During my races.” With 20 kg less than on his first semi, the Parisian has been sponsored by Salomon and Suunto since 2018, without having been asked to join an elite Team.
I would like to be more supervised to see if it allows me to pass a milestone, because there, I am hard, without coach or assistance on the races, without method, and with only the volume of training in Paris. A sports podiatrist texted me last year that my stride was technically nothing, and he was having a hard time understanding my performance. “
However, these allow “Green Cap” to target seven ultras in 2021, in the event of a favorable health situation, and in particular “a place in the Top 10 on the Diagonale des Fous”, where everything took off for him in 2017 He will also want to look good in August in the Alps, on the legendary Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (170 km), one of the two races where he had to resolve in 2019 to give up (at km 123), after having traveled 70 kilometers… with a fractured big toe!
Trapped By Amateur Strava Surgeon
Followed by more than 21,000 people on social networks, including more than 5,000 on Strava, Alexandre Boucheix was also taken at his own game while he was treating this injury. “Green cap” on the application dear to runners and cyclists, where he authenticated his 10,108 km in 2020, was caught by the patrol, in this case the surgeon who followed him after his hard blow on the UTMB.
While the latter had advised him to resume quietly on an indoor bike, after three weeks of rest, Alexandre Boucheix laughs by evoking the meeting of control: “I hallucinated when he told me that I ‘abusing. He turned his screen over to show me that he was following my perfs on Strava. Well, it’s true that I had made 650 bike terminals that week… ”