Céline Finas

céline_finas

Her express CV :

My 5 main results in Trail :
– UT4M Challenge 2021, 1st
– Le Grand Trail de Serre-Ponçon 2021, 1st mixed team
– Echappée Belle 2020, l’Intégrale, 2nd
– 90km du Mont Blanc 2019, 11th
– EDF Cenis Tour 2019 37km, 1st

From orienteering to ultra trail!

I am 36 years old, I live in Paris where I work in a profession that is often obscure for many people: I am an actuary. Behind this title are the people who, within the insurance industry, establish the price that you will pay each month. It’s a very ‘statistical’ job in reality, and therefore very scientific, since it involves, to take an easy case like car insurance, compiling the risks of accidents and possible damage so that you are reimbursed and the insurer doesn’t go bankrupt either. The notion of provision, risk management, is my daily work. And even if this profession is not well known to the general public, there is a training course and a diploma that I obtained at Centrale Paris, where I did my higher education.

As far as sport is concerned, if we go back in time, like my sister Mélanie I did orienteering in secondary school, after a little gymnastics when I was younger. If I had to put my sports practice on hold for a while (even if I took advantage of the holidays to go back to the air and to clear my head!), I had the chance within my school, thanks to the presence of the nearby Polytechnique, to take up orienteering again during my higher education, which is in the end often quite rare. Naturally, one day I signed up for a UCPA Trail course, again with the idea of getting some fresh air in my trainers. And then one day, you take your first number… and you realise that, not only is it nice but that you can also get results, sometimes even scratch results… So inevitably you get hooked!

I was lucky enough to be part of the Evadict team before it became 100% female and took on this magnitude. I used to train on my own in a company club but now Philippe Propage takes care of my plans. The poor guy sometimes has to deal with my professional life, which is not always compatible with the ambitious goals I set myself. When you have a full-time job, which can be very demanding, it’s not easy to reconcile everything. And then I had to face a period when I was suffering from anaemia. This obviously had a direct impact on my sporting activities. More than bad memories, it has allowed me to see the race differently, in a sharing and landscape mode, rather than a time trial at all costs. It’s also a good thing, it allows you to put things into perspective, even if the arrival of sponsors in your sporting life inevitably changes the situation. You have to be able to give it your all to “honour” your contract with them and at the same time know how to preserve yourself when it’s an “off” day, a balance that is not always easy to find.

My first ultra I consider to be the Echappée Belle in 2020, even if I had already did the 90km of Mont Blanc. Just after the months of confinement and the absence of preparatory races, not necessarily the easiest of preparations, lining up on a race reputed to be so technical was not a foregone conclusion, but I got the second place, which is a superb reward! I have in mind one day to do the Diagonale des Fous even if today, I admit that now that I know a little more about the calendar of the trails of France, Navarre and even of the whole world, there are many other races which make me dream. The USA, South America too, why not? Now I don’t see myself going so far away only for one race obviously, which implies being able to leave for a long time and who says long time says capital “paid holidays” largely used up. Here again, it’s difficult to have a demanding professional career and a career as an elite athlete, but not a professional one. I must admit that the crisis we went through helped me a little because the notion of teleworking, which was almost unthinkable a few years ago, is a little more accepted today, even if we have returned to the office. But let’s just say that I find it a bit easier to spend a Friday afternoon teleworking on the train on the way to the mountains so that I can really train for 48 hours on the spot.

My next goal? The 60 of the MIUT! And for the anecdote, I will be at the start with my little sister who is part of the same Evadict team as me. We are not in competition at all, nor even in competition. It’s a great opportunity to share our passion together. She lives in Toulouse, I live in Paris, and the trails are also an opportunity for us to meet and enjoy each other. And may the best one win that day!

Article written by Cecile Bertin, Run Fit & Fun.