Mélanie Finas

mélanie_finas

Her express CV :

My 5 main results in Trail :
– 4th in the 90km Mont Blanc 2021
– 1st Pyrenees Tour Trail 2019
– Vice champion France Trail Long 2019
– 4th Trail Bourbon Réunion 2019
– 2nd Endurance Trail Templiers 2018

"No pain no gain"... Or how the fractional system changed everything!

I am almost 29 years old and I have been living in Toulouse for 5 years, where I came for love as my boyfriend is from the city. I’m an engineer and I work for a consulting company that works for Airbus. In my family, you can’t say that we were great sportsmen. My mother did a bit of athletics and my father cycled but really as a leisure activity, nothing more. In reality, it all came from secondary school and then from high school where I discovered orientation. It so happens that where I went to school there was even a section dedicated to this activity which I chose and which took me to the world championships in my age category of course. It was a crazy experience to live! More than the parental example, it was the example of my older sister that inspired me.

But like many, everything stopped with the preparatory class where I devoted myself entirely to my studies. It was only when I got to engineering school that I realised how much I missed it and above all how much of a mistake it was to want to totally sacrifice sport during these intense years. I was in Paris and I started running again, this time in track and field mode. I discovered split training, a little more structured training. Trail running came into my life during my 6-month internship that I was lucky enough to do in Martinique. There I not only met my friend but also a new sport. You could say it was love at first sight!

It was there that I did my first trail, a 17km… which seemed long… but long… Far from being discouraged, I signed up for a 50km which unfortunately was cancelled the day before due to the weather being far too capricious and above all dangerous to launch trailers onto the mountain. On my way back to France, I signed up for the Ecotrail in the 50km format (it has become 45 now) to compensate. It’s true that many people are surprised by this, but I immediately associated my sport with race numbers. It was not my competitive spirit inherited from my college years that was expressed, just my desire not to run alone! I wasn’t in a club, the races were above all an opportunity for me to see people, to share my passion with other enthusiasts. And it allowed me to do long runs that I wouldn’t necessarily dare to do alone either. The first two years of my practice, I am in the “mass” finally, without taking my head to want to progress.

It was finally my move to Toulouse that changed everything. There I joined a club, I started to do specific training and above all to progress. I started to gain speed and to gain places in the rankings… Of course, seeing my progress made me want to continue and to progress even more. It’s true that what’s funny in my situation is that my sister Céline also started trail running after orienteering. It has become a family thing!

What I like are the long distances. The longest to date? The Bourbons trail on Reunion Island which reminded me of Martinique, the land of my beginnings. I am now thinking of doing the Diagonale des Fous, which will be my first 100 miles. Well, before that, I’ll have the French Trail Championships on Philippe Propage’s land, our “boss” at all and the UTPMA. In July, I will be at the start of the 6000D and the Montcalm challenge, an original race where you do 140km and 12,000m D+ over 4 days. You have to do the KV, the 70km, the Montcalm Marathon and the Trail des Novis which is 25km. With all this I hope to be ready for my big challenge at the end of the year!

Now, I don’t want anyone to get the impression from reading this that everything went like a dream for me. I remember the GRP in 2016, my first 80, just one year after I started. Honestly I was very unprepared and I paid for it in cash… The last 10km, which are downhill, took me 3 hours to do! I had terrible blisters, I couldn’t move forward at all… Clearly I finished mentally that day. Totally the opposite, I experienced “my race” on the Trail du Moyen Duc, the 40km Trail du Grand Duc at the beginning of July. There is however a lot of difference in altitude but that day, it is not explained, it was my day, my race. And it’s hard not to mention the French Trail Championships in 2019 where I finished 2nd, which I must admit was a nice surprise for me. It is obviously in my Top 3 of the greatest moments of my life as a trail runner to date.

A medium term objective? I’m not going to be original, I’m afraid, but like many I dream of being at the start of the UTMB one day and especially at the finish! I have lots of other ideas. We are lucky to live in France which has such a varied calendar and offer of trails of all kinds that it would take a lifetime to do it all. Of course I dream of far away destinations but it’s more in the idea of a trip with a trail in the middle, like New Zealand for example. You don’t go that far for a simple race, it doesn’t make sense. After that I don’t know what surprises the Evadict adventure will bring, we’re only at the beginning. My MT Cushion and my 5 litre waistcoat are only at the beginning of their adventures, believe me!

You can follow Melanie on her insta here!

Article written by Cecile Bertin, Run Fit & Fun.