Les Templiers introduced Nicolas Martin to the trails and he’s returned the favor by returning to the race for a seventh time this weekend. He’s seen solid results at the race, including placing second in 2015, but has yet to win it. In the following interview, Nico talks about his special relationship with Les Templiers, why the race requires a complete runner, and how his 2017 has gone so far.
Nicolas Martin Pre-2017 Les Templiers Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Nicolas Martin before the 2017 Les Templiers. How are you, Nico?
Nicolas Martin: I’m fine. It’s okay. Good morning.
iRunFar: You have been to Les Templiers five times before?
Martin: Six or seven times before. Yes, and at the beginning in 2010 I did not finish. The second time I finished eighth place. The third and fourth time it was more difficult. Two years ago I was second.
iRunFar: You’ve had a long experience at this race. Why do you keep coming to Grand Trail des Templiers?
Martin: It’s a very special race for me because I discovered the trail running in Les Templiers at the old place in Nant in 2007. In 2007 I ran a little race named Puma Trail which is like the Endu[rance] Trail now. I have a lot of memories. It’s a race that gave me the pleasure of trail running. It was very emotional at the finish line with the victory of Thomas Lorblanchet. So, it’s very, very special.
iRunFar: So it’s sort of your birth place, your starting place?
Martin: Yes, and the ultra run is special for me. When I was a child, I went there with my brother in the forest, so there are a lot of memories for me with this decision.
iRunFar: What do you think about the course?
Martin: It’s a very special course with a lot of good runners. I have good training and good feelings in the last training. I hope I have a good race and a lot of pleasure with this race. It’s for a complete runner with a flat part, downhill, uphill, and technical. It’s a good race for me and my abilities. I trust for a good race.
iRunFar: Do you find it’s difficult to change from the flat to downhill to uphill because it’s discrete sections.
Martin: For me, there are two parts in Les Templiers. The first part to La Roque Saint Marguerite is two uphills, but it’s a flat part. After, it’s very, very difficult. It’s more alpine trail with 2,000 meters of uphill, so it’s very difficult. It’s more technical, a lot of singletrack, so it’s very important to go to La Roque refreshed. So, I hope it’s my plan for the race to go to La Roque easy if I can. After, I will go the better as possible.
iRunFar: Do you think having experience at this race is helpful?
Martin: Yes, I know this race. I went on vacation in Millau two times. I know the singletrack. It will not be a surprise for me, the singletrack. It’s very difficult. I’m not totally confident. I won’t go to the start line surprised.
iRunFar: You’ve had a few very good seasons, but at the [IAU] Trail World Championships you had a bad race for you. What happened?
Martin: Yes, it was a very, very bad race with bad memories for me with the national team shirt which is very difficult for a runner. I had anemia (low iron), so after, I took a break. After, in August, I took training for the end of the season and it’s gone well. I won the French [Trail] Championships and finished second place in the Pirineu Marathon behind Kilian Jornet with a great battle. It’s a beautiful and wonderful memory for me.
iRunFar: You’ve come into Les Templiers feeling strong?
Martin: Yes, I hope.
iRunFar: Go for your first victory here?
Martin: It’s my dream, but I want to take pleasure and have a good race. After, I think it’s possible to win.
iRunFar: Bonne chance!