Ultra-trail: Who is Aurélien Sanchez, the first Frenchman to finish and win the Barclays Race in the US?


Each evening’s news hack spotlights a personality who may have passed under the news radars.

The first in over 35 years. On the night of Thursday March 16th to Friday March 17th, a French man finished and won the legendary US Grand Prix: there barleyAnd A race of 160 to 200 kilometers, with an elevation gain of 20,000 metres. Participants have 60 hours to complete. Aurélien Sanchez took 58 hours and 23 minutes, knowing that no one has finished the race since 2017. Since the start, in 1986, he has finished 17th, out of more than 1,000 competitors.

To understand Aurélien Sanchez’s feat, you have to listen to the organizer of this unmarked race, in the wild mountains of Tennessee, in the fog, inspired by a prisoner escape from prison found on the course. . This arranger, Gary “Lazarus Lake,” an American with a big white beard, utters…while lighting a cigarette: “It’s time to light a cigarette! Everyone ready to have fun? We hear it said in a documentary by Équipe that exploresAnd finishesAnd Directed by Alexis Berg and Aurelien Delphos.

“You have to be very brave. Because when you start out, you leave everything behind to find yourself in the woods. You can only rely on yourself. Your talent, your strength, your creativity… That’s what allows you to come back to life.”Gary continues, “Lazarus Lake.”

The first weapons in football

Aurélien Sanchez apparently managed to get out alive. This 32-year-old alien was born near Carcassonne, and grew up in the Limoux region (Audi). IIt makes it a school of engineering, the Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Toulouse. The sport in the beginning was football. He played for 16 years, mainly at L.A.imoux football club.

But he finds hiking in Phoenix, Arizona, ORWhere he spent four years that changed his life. He started walking, then running, then running. His hero: the explorer Mike Horn. Aurélien Sanchez goes on trails and some records, like crossing the Pyrenees by GR 10, starting from Banyuls-sur-Mer towards Hendaye. Complete it in 12 days, without any outside help. Since returning to France in 2020, he has also distinguished himself in the Vendée, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, in the “last man standing” race (127 kilometers and 4,420 meters of altitude) in 13 hours and 54 minutes.

Ultra trail fanatic

But it also handles all major tracks in the world. For Barkley, it’s all about his choice. So it is necessary for this to chain the races. And sometimes you fail. as during Charterhouse TerminorumIBarclay’s little sister was created in 2017 in Isère (300km, 25,000m of elevation gain): she was the first to complete the second loop of the 100km, before giving up on the third. “It passes sometimes. It often breaks, but when it does it’s great. There, it’s more likely to break than to pass.”He told, with full effort, a team of Dauphine released from Follow him. “I have no more energy, no more balance.”

To be selected for the Barclay Prize, for two years, he also did work Diagonal bishops Reunion, W.;ultra trail mont blanc, The Grand Raid des Cathares in Aude or the Land of the Gods in Corsica. They are three Barclay finishers this year. Behind Aurélien Sanchez, we find the American John Kelly- Which he actually completed a few years ago – and the Belgian Karel Sappwhich expires six minutes after the end of the 60-hour period.


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