Core team

Valérie Bélanger

Chief Nomad and Guide

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After having trained in British Columbia and England to become an adventure travel guide, Valerie has lead active holidays in North America and Europe for well-known tour operators. Whether she is traveling for work or pleasure, she loves using trail running as a way to get to know a new environment. She is fascinated by what is below the surface: the forces that shaped the landscape, the daily lives of the people who inhabit it, the history of the trails we tread. She is the founder of Nomade Actif and the embodiment of what it stands for: an unflagging passion for active travel.

Background

  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid 40h (Sirius)
  • Certified Running Coach (Courseàpied.ca)
  • Wilderness Leadership Certificate (Capilano University)
  • Mountain Leader Certification (Mountain Training UK)
  • Leave No Trace Ambassador (Leave No Trace Canada)
  • Certified Travel Counsellor (Office de la protection du consommateur)

Jean-Louis Doss

Trail Running Guide

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Jean-Louis' life is all about movement. Among his latest adventures: a six-day running vacation around Mont-Blanc, and 160 km of cross-country skiing at the Canadian Ski Marathon. His favorite playground, Parc régional de Val-David, is a few hundred meters from his home. You will find him running there summer and winter, rain or shine. When traveling with him, let yourself be guided to the best espresso or pastry shop around. He is our expert in active-Epicurean traveling!

Background

  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid 40h (Sirius)
  • 1500 days of experience as an adventure travel guide
  • Over 19 years of experience in adventure tour supervision, logistical support, and route design
  • Certified Coach, Level II, Programme national de certification des entraîneurs (Sports Québec)

Marie-Andrée Fortin

Trail Running Guide - Nunavik

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A graduate in Education and Adventure Tourism, Marie-Andrée finds happiness in learning about different cultures around the world. She specializes as a guide for active adventures with an emphasis on contemplating the natural environment and understanding the local culture. For three years, she has lived in Nunavik, where her daily life was made up of trail running, skiing, fatbiking, and skijoring. Her organizational skills are legendary, as is her contagious lust for adventure and travel.

Background

  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid Instructor (Sirius)
  • Adventure Travel Guide Diploma (Cégep Saint-Laurent)
  • Member of Association des guides professionnels en tourisme d'aventure (AGPTA)
  • Expedition member at Projet Karibu (winter 2014)
  • Speaker and Ambassador for persistence in school
  • Cofounder of ski clubs in Nunavik

Lucas Garceau-Bédard

Trail Running Guide - Gaspésie

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Lucas chose Gaspésie in 2016 to quench his insatiable thirst for exploration, whether in the mountains, at sea or on skis. He lives for trail running, camping, and off-piste skiing, and sees every day as an opportunity to push his limits. Although he was a competitive cross-country runner in high school, he later developed an interest in the contemplative and fun side of trail running. Lucas stands out as a dynamic leader with a desire to share his knowledge. Despite his young age, he hides behind his sunglasses mountains of stories to share.

Background

  • Adventure Tourism Technical Program (Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles)
  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid 40h (Sirius)
  • Avalanche Operations, professional level 1 (Avalanche Qc)
  • Recognition from the Executive Council of Québec for having performed an avalanche rescue in 2018
  • The North Face Ambassador

Olivier Paradis

Trail Running Guide - Nunavik

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Olivier has been wearing the hat of adventure travel guide for over 10 years. His passion for the outdoors is unmatched, and the Far North holds a special place in his heart. He loves training in the cold, off the beaten track, on the huge playground that the tundra offers. To his eyes, running is a great way to live at the rhythm of the territories that we choose to explore. Whether in the high mountains, by the sea, or in the boreal forest, Olivier will help you discover fascinating places that are both mythical and unknown, while keeping a close eye on your safety and comfort.

Background

  • Certified Hiking Guide (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides)
  • Wilderness First Responder 80h (Sirius)
  • AEC in Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism (Collège Merici)
  • Mountaineering and Outdoor Leadership Certification (NOLS)
  • Mountain Hiking Guide for Terra Ultima

David Jeker

Running Coach

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David holds a master's degree in Human Movement and Sport Sciences from the Université de Lausanne. His master's thesis was about Tor des Géants, a 330 km mountain ultramarathon held in Valle d'Aosta, Italy. He offers personalized training services to trail and road runners of all levels. A central element of his coaching philosophy is to give athletes full control of their passion. Take advantage of his expertise to get a training plan specially designed for your next trip with us!

Background

  • Certified in Running Injury Prevention (The Running Clinic)
  • Representative for Canadian runners at ITRA
  • Elite Ambassador for The Running Clinic
  • Two-time member of the Canadian Trail Running Team
  • Winner of Ultra-Trail Harricana in 2015 (125 km)
  • Marathon personal record of 2:32:45

Anthony Touche

Marketing Consultant

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Born in the French Alps, Anthony naturally feels at home in the great outdoors. After completing a master's degree in Sports Science, he went on to explore new horizons in Québec. That’s where he discovered trail running, which has become an essential part of his active lifestyle. Anthony is always on the lookout for new playgrounds – fortunately for him, there is no shortage of that in La Belle Province! Having worked many years for tour operators, he is a key member of our team.

Local Guides

Mauricio Diaz

Trail Running Guide - Mexico

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A runner by heritage and an adventurer by nature, Mauricio is co-founder of Aire Libre, a trail running collective based in Mexico and offering trail running retreats around the world. His adventure logbook is filled with seven marathons (three completed in under 3 hours), four ultramarathons, an Olympic-distance triathlon, several mountain tops and bicycle tours, among many other achievements. Mauricio’s life mission is to help inspire as many people as he can to live a more fulfilling and active life, aided by a deeper connection to nature, which is, to his eyes, the true path to happiness. His favorite quote: "Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” (Hunter S. Thompson)

Marko Herman

Trail Running Guide - Croatia

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A certified kinesiologist, Marko needs only a trail and a pair of running shoes to be happy. Although he was born in Dubrovnik, he spent most of his childhood on the Pelješac Peninsula, an area known for its spectacular trails. In recent years, he has participated in over ten ultratrail events and countless shorter races. He is course director at Dalmacija Ultratrail, whose very first edition in 2016 was a great success. He is also founder of a trail running club in Croatia. To him, Dalmatia is a trail runner's dream because of the diversity of its landscapes and the richness of its history, traces of which are found everywhere, even on the trails themselves, which sometimes date from over 2,000 years ago. He invites you to experience a sporting and cultural adventure in his beloved Croatia.

Ian Penney

Trail Running Guide - England

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Based in the Lake District, Ian has spent the last 15 years exploring mountains all over the world, but he has met his match at home, in the fells of northwestern England. Although he has long been an all-around mountain athlete, he now focuses on trail running, and there's nothing quite like the Lake District to quench his thirst for complex and varied mountain terrain. Ian is a certified UK Mountain Leader and the founder of The Swift Running Company, where he works as a trail running guide. He enjoys running so much that in 2017, he challenged himself to run at least 3.65 miles for 365 consecutive days, raising funds for a local charity at the same time. Here's one guide who knows the terrain to its every corner!

Jean-François Tapp

Trail Running Guide - Gaspésie

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Jean-François is a recreational and outdoor tourism specialist with Gaspésie tattooed on his heart! Holder of master's degrees in regional development and business administration / MBA, he contributes to the area's reputation by organizing the many sporting events of the Gaspesia Racing Series, including the Gaspésia 100 Ultra Trail. With his spouse, he is also the owner of Camp de base Coin-du-Banc, a unique bicentennial inn located on a beautiful beach and an exceptionnal hub for all outdoor enthusiasts. It is through his passion for the region and its trails that he will introduce you to some of the most beautiful courses in Quebec. Will he wear his famous overalls? Join us to find out!

Partners

Xact Nutrition

Official Energy Provider

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We're proud to welcome Xact Nutrition as a partner of our adventures. We simply love the sport nutrition products of this Québec-based company for their natural ingredients, pleasant texture, and convenient size – so much that we decided to include them in most of our trail running holiday packages. Another good reason to travel with us!

Club de trail Montréal

Training Partner

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Summer or winter, Club de trail de Montréal offers weekly outings on the trails of Mont-Royal. Being based in Montréal, our team loves these training sessions on the countless trails that are hidden right in the heart of the city. Members of the CTM receive a discount of $100 on our European tours and $50 on our North-American tours.

Run to explore the world!

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