Blandine l'Hirondelle

Blandine_l'Hirondelle

Her express CV :

My top Trail results:
– World trail champion 2019
– French trail champion short 2019, long 2021
– French Mountain Running Champion 2020, 2021
– OCC 1st – 2021
– CCC 1st – 2022
– 4th overall at GTWS in 2021, 3rd in 2020

From David Guetta to ITRA points!

I am 31 years old and come from Normandy. Professionally, I am an obstetrician gynecologist, the woman’s doctor from the first period to the last and even more so, I would be tempted to say. I chose to work in a hospital in order to be able to practice my profession in its entirety, including surgery. I am married to my most loyal supporter, in my double life, and this is no small thing! And I have a little 8 month old dog who fills me with happiness 😊.
I didn’t grow up in a sporting world at all. For me, sport was at school and to keep myself busy on Wednesday afternoons. Holidays for my parents were not really synonymous with the great outdoors, the hikes we did were more in museums! I must admit that I was really into sports associated with well-being, mental and physical fitness, without any notion of competition. Trail running only came into my life during my internship, which I was lucky enough to do on Reunion Island. Can you see me coming? I wanted the sun, the trip… and there I discovered that running on trails was called trail running!

What’s very funny in retrospect is that I got into the discipline by taking my first bib because I found that this sport was devoid of any competitive spirit. It was above all an opportunity for me to discover new trails with friends and to make new ones. I started with a trainer’s association and ended up where we know! The first few races I was only in discovery mode but when I started to see that I could do times, things started to change. We won’t lie, climbing on a podium step is really gratifying and not only for your entourage but also for your self-esteem. Of course, when you go from party girl to Trail World Champion, your college friends fall out of the closet a bit! I received some very funny messages from friends who said to me: “in one article I learned that you were doing sports, that you were doing trail running and that you were the best in your discipline… But who is this Blandine?

Well, not everything is rosy and ideal either, right? Obviously I had doubts, difficult moments but finally, with hindsight, I learned positive lessons. Now, at the moment I have to deal with a pathology (it’s not an injury in the sense that we understand it in our world) which makes me suffer a lot and which required a surgical operation with rest, which at the start of the season is necessarily complicated to manage, especially mentally speaking. During the last French championships, I suffered but suffered on the second climb… That’s when I decided that I absolutely had to find the cause and treat it. Now I am relieved because I have finally found the reason. But I am aware that I was lucky… I was lucky to be a doctor, to have the knowledge to try to understand what was wrong and I am not naive, I know that the fact that I work in the same profession as my colleagues played a role in the treatment and diagnosis. I had the right names, the right people to contact. My stubbornness paid off because I was well surrounded, which is unfortunately not the case for the vast majority of amateur athletes. But in this case I really had to act and quickly, the pain was really becoming impossible to bear. (Blandine suffers from an endofibrosis of the external iliac artery, to put it simply, which had to be unblocked so that the blood flow could be restored perfectly without tearing it, of course)

I’m going to take a complete 6 weeks off work, but a real break because I absolutely cannot risk damaging the work that the surgeon is going to do. Then it will be a month and a half to two months of reathletisation as they say. I have been selected for the European Trail Championships at the beginning of July, but let me be perfectly clear, I will only be at the start if I am at 100%, I have far too much respect for the tricolour jersey not to honour it to the best of my abilities. What amuses me is that the announcement of this stop has generated a wave of benevolent messages like “don’t worry, you’ll survive 6 weeks without sport” … But of course I will survive, and even live it very well! I have a schedule already full of things I can’t always do because let’s be honest, between my job and my sport activity, it’s hard to fit everything in. I’m not a bigorexic, I’m just a high level athlete 😊.

So why Evadict? Because it only took a zoom conference with the main protagonists to make me decide. Such motivation, such enthusiasm it’s so contagious that I couldn’t say no. Usually, when I have to make a big decision, I’m a fan of the chart and the two columns, the pros and cons, but this one remained hopelessly empty. So frankly at the time, the idea of 100% female, when I work in a purely female environment would not have convinced me. There is also another point I want to mention because it played a part in my decision to join the team. Let’s face it, there’s a commercial side to it, we’re also here to make potential “customers” want to buy. So if I can do this with a brand designed in France for which I can really participate in the creation process and which remains affordable for the majority, I admit that it gives me real satisfaction. I want to encourage women (and men too, of course!) to take up trail running, I don’t want the price to be a barrier. I started running like a lot of people in Decathlon, so I’ve come full circle!

Blandine’s insta is here.

Article written by Cecile Bertin, Run Fit & Fun.