La Lunelloise is taking part in the next Marathon des Sables, which starts on Friday 25 March.
Two hundred and fifty kilometers to travel in the Moroccan Sahara in total food autonomy: that’s what awaits Florence Auterives, from Friday 25 March until Monday 4 April. La Lunelloise is really committed to the famous Marathon des Sables.
That’s a fact: driving an ultra-trailer requires a bit of madness. But not just any madness. The one that sparkles and moves forward, step by step. The one that makes you forget about everyday life to communicate with nature.
Adapt your rhythm to nature
This madness, Florence Auterive has it in her legs and in her head. Because she likes to run, walk, get lost in nature. “I have always run or cycled. I need it to decompress. I listen to my body and my steps not to think about work. And I adapt my rhythm to nature, to the song of the birds, to the sound of the wind”, she said dreamily.
This is understandable because she occupies a sensitive position in connection with wiring and installation of new aircraft electrical systems. Born in Lunel, her favorite playground is on the slopes of Mont Aigoual. “There’s everything I need to train. It’s not as overgrown as the Alps and the Pyrenees. When you’re at the top and the weather is good you can see the sea. And then I still have to discover new paths where you can hear the birds. “where on a detour you come across a deer, a deer. Sometimes I go alone with my backpack for a weekend. When we run at night, the smells, the sounds, everything is different”, the sportswoman swallows.
As a 55-year-old, she will finally fulfill a thirty-year-old dream: to run the Marathon des Sables in the Moroccan Sahara. 250 km in total food autonomy to be completed in seven days. If she is attending for the first time, Florence is not at her first attempt. It is even one of the initiators of the discipline, because when it started thirty years ago, there were not as many races as today.
“The limits of his body”
“The first time was in 1995, for the Temple Lords’ 75 km. Then I did not start too much because there was no race or you had to travel farexplains Lunelloise. And then I had a click the day I arrived on a 30 km in Saint-Jean-de-Bruel at the same time as a girl who was going on a 120 km. She had left the day before at 4 p.m. I started thinking: you must be crazy. Then I said to myself: why not? she remembers.
Since then, Florence has not stopped. The Angkor race in Cambodia, the ultra trail in Peru, the Mont-Blanc race and many others have marked her career as a cross-country skier. “In these races we always look for the boundaries of the body. But in fact there are none. We have routines to overcome injuries or laziness. We also meet many people, people with whom we keep in touch.”
As for her chronometric performance, Lunelloise does not care. “I’m not a fast or go-getter. I have endurance. My goal is to finish, and that’s what I’ve always done. Now, if I have to push my pace to pass someone in front of me, will. But forward for everything I will enjoy my race. “
Physical and mental conditions are not the only success factors in a race like the Marathon des Sables. This requires careful preparation of the backpack. “ The organizers only give us water. First aid and toilet sets, spare clothes, down, but above all food for seven days must not exceed 6 to 7 kg. So Florence prepared, packed and labeled everything.
His bag is organized according to the stages and their degree of difficulty. And then she has her little tricks. “I do not like too much sweet. For me, it is bouillon cubes to rehydrate food and baby cereal for breakfast.” On the eve of the race, everything is ready for Lunelloise to realize his dream.