Who'd have thought it?
Just one month after joining Captain Wild, I was about to take part in one of Salomon's most unique trail events: "This is Trail Running".
Let's save our lyrical flights of fancy for the rest of the story, and set the context for this adventure. Salomon, an iconic sports brand known worldwide for its innovative products and unrivalled spirit in trail running, wanted to offer its most loyal members a trail running holiday in the French capital: Paris. For three days, selected members of the S/PLUS program (Salomon's loyalty program) will have the chance to discover Paris from another angle, that of Trail Running.
Built around three pillars- urban, natural and cultural- participants will enjoy an immersive experience they'll remember for years to come. Forever? That's what we're going to find out.
So who better than the Captain Wild team to organize a holiday that's original, sporty and memorable? There's no doubt that we're made to organize this trip and respect the spirit of the Salomon brand, as we do with all our collaborators.
After Salomon entrusted us with this project, Lucile and Axel, members of the events team, set about designing an adventure in the image of Salomon, while retaining the friendly spirit of the Captain. The entire program has been imagined with great creativity, precise logistics and activities around Trail Running that will enrich both S/PLUS members' sporting skills and their knowledge of the discipline. Below is the program imagined by Captain Wild in collaboration with Salomon for the "This is Trail Running" event.
Well, that's something, isn't it? Imagine my reaction when I was told I was going to Paris to live this extraordinary experience with one of my favorite brands. I hadn't even started my internship yet! But as a surprise never comes alone, I was given the responsibility of being present as an organizer during the event and participating in the final improvements to the stay. The stressometer could have gone through the roof in the run-up to this first event, which was of the utmost importance to Captain Wild. I simply replied in a relaxed but determined manner, something along the lines of "Too cool, it's going to be nothing but fun, we'll manage", in true Captain fashion 😉
An Adventure Full of Encounters
And what fun it was! The whole trip was an incredible adventure. Every detail of the trip had been carefully studied to offer participants a tailor-made Salomon experience. First of all, in terms of equipment, each participant received the latest Sense Ride 5, the flagship product of the stay, as well as an ultra-light trail T-shirt and light, breathable socks. On top of that, to keep up with the latest fashion on a daily basis, we also received a tye and die t-shirt (made by our own hands) and a members-only S/PLUS t-shirt!
We could have stopped there, but it's not in the Captain's or Salomon's nature to do things by halves. Opinel Salomon, Salomon shoe brush, Trail cleaning products, Salomon bottle opener and kitchen apron for your summer evenings, Genepi from Haute Savoie, energy bars, you name it... We even received a map specially created for the event by the event team, listing the best trail running spots in Paris! The participants were delighted.
We put on all that gear and hit the trail! A run through the graffiti-filled tunnels of downtown Paris, accompanied by a local street art artist and Caitlin Fielder, a morning training session in the Luxembourg Gardens with Samuel Urtado, president of the "This Is Trail Paris" association, trail training in the Bois de Vincennes on the climbs and trails used by Olympic athletes, and a long 15 km run through the gardens of Versailles... we needed strong calves!
And since trail running can be very tiring, let's eat! We were also spoiled for choice when it came to catering. A Savoyard aperitif, dinner in a typical French restaurant in the middle of Versailles, the incredible burgers at Arkose Nation, and the buffet/street food at Ground Control and Le Comptoir Général. I almost came home with a little extra weight... I almost forgot to mention breakfast at the hotel "l'Observatoire du Luxembourg", a typically Parisian hotel. It was one of the most copious breakfasts I've ever had! It almost failed me on the Saturday morning run. Surely I should have followed the example of my adventure companions, who have adapted their breakfasts as true trail enthusiasts!
Finally, we fed not only our stomachs, but also our minds. Romain Berger's training sessions, Samuel and Caitlin's expert advice, and Florine Marin's talk on what to pack for a race were all extremely relevant and interesting! It was an excellent mix of exchange, practice and theory.
In a nutshell...
...everything was perfect, from start to finish.
We met wonderful people from all over the world, laughed, ran, ate, recuperated, learned, shared and lived at Solomon's pace for three days. At the beginning of this story, I said that participants would have an immersive experience that they would remember for many, many years to come. Although memory can sometimes play tricks on us, all our memories will be engraved in a guest book with magnificent photos by Maureen Raway and a message from each member of the adventure.
Thanks to Augusti from Spain, Miko from Finland, Anne from the Netherlands, Torjus from Norway, Martin from Denmark, Karolina from Poland, Slavica from Croatia, Juliette from France, Stefan from Germany, Fatima from England, Stéphane my roommate and Lucile with whom I shared the organization of this adventure before, during and after "This is Trail Running". It was a real honor to organize this event and I can't wait to organize the next one, maybe for you who are reading this article?
I don't think I have anything more to say, except... When do we start again?