A sporting family: François and Agnès (father and mother) have been practicing mountain bike, trail running and triathlon for 25 years, and their daughter, Alice, started triathlon at the age of 8. They all competed in trail running and triathlon events, with even a couple of Ironmen (Gérardmer, Roth) for the parents. François has already participated in 3 MARATHON DES SABLES: 2012, 2013 and 2015. For his wife and daughter, it's the first time. The family motto: “All together at the finish line”
In civilian life, François is a CEO, Agnès is a teacher, and Alice is a student at ESCE, a business school in Lyon. They all love travelling, being outdoors and mountain hiking. Another special thing about Alice: she's a vegetarian.
Her parents heard about the MDS in magazines and TV reports and introduced it to Alice. Their expectations about the MDS vary: François is dreaming of a week of holiday away from daily life; Agnès, of a human adventure that will force her to go beyond her limits; and Alice, of an exceptional challenge. François is afraid of blisters; the ladies, of heat.
They trained rather seriously: 4 runs a week, of which a long one carrying a rucksack, plus bike and swimming. Participating as a family is a source of motivation and enables them to share their concerns, but they reckon it can also cause conflicts, especially when one of them is feeling down...
The most difficult moment in their life so far? The long stage of MDS 2015 for François, the first Ironman for Agnès, and the hotly contested triathlon of Embrun for Alice.
For François, despite his 3 prior participations in the MDS, this 32nd edition is different: “Living this adventure as a family is not the same experience. I have other concerns than just running - I have to care for my ladies.” Agnès is also watching over the family: “I'm keeping an eye on Alice, I'm even sometimes afraid for her.” As for Alice, she's just watching over herself and enjoying being here: “I had always said to myself that I would do the MDS one day. At my age, people rather want to go out and have fun. But being here is worth some sacrifices.” However, Alice admits she didn't tell all her friends about her participation in the MDS, but those whom she let into the secret “dont realize what it really means.”
The three of them run as a team with other competitors for a charity called 'Le Point Rose': “We heard about this association in reports about triathlon. The story of Carla Marie really moved us. Beyond the sporting adventure, we wanted to give a special meaning to our family participation, and the fact of competing to support a charity has become our main objective. The resilience of people confronted with the loss of a child is a lesson of life and courage. Running to pay tribute to the fight of those children and parents facing such painful situations is a real source of motivation. With ‘Le Point Rose’, we form a team of 15 people, which is an additional source of motivation.”