Valérie Bélanger

Chief Nomad

As she approached her 30th birthday and realized that the 9-to-5 office lifestyle was not for her, Valérie decided to swap her career in communications for pursuing her passion for the great outdoors and travel. She went back to school in British Columbia and England, where she trained as a guide on the landscapes she had long been dreaming of, and then worked for well-known tour operators leading active holidays in North America and Europe. 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

  • 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

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. Needless to say, he is physically and mentally prepared for just about any type of trail! 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. His passion for trail running is fueled by a desire to explore and to enjoy life's simple pleasures, rather than performance. 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

  • Wilderness First Aid Training (Sirius)
  • 1500 days of experience as an adventure travel guide
  • More than 17 years of experience in adventure tour supervision, logistical support, and route design
  • Certified Coach, Level II, Programme national de certification des entraîneurs (Sports Québec)

Emmanuel Daigle

Trail Running Guide

Emmanuel has been guiding high-altitude expeditions for over 20 years. He is also an instructor, speaker, columnist, author, and outdoor gear tester. Having climbed numerous peaks, including Denali, Aconcagua, and Kilimanjaro, he believes that no athletic challenge is insurmountable if you prepare seriously. To prove it, he once ran 24 hours nonstop as part of his own personal "Forrest Gump challenge." Manu knows how to balance effort and enjoyment when guiding. Camaraderie and having fun while learning come first in his mind. As he puts it, "The success of an expedition is measured in bursts of laughter."

Background

  • Author of Haute altitude, du trek à l'expédition
  • Founder of Académie Haute Montagne
  • Wilderness First Aid Instructor (Sirius)
  • BLS, AED, FA, AP Instructor (Heart & Stroke Foundation)
  • Coaching, Nutrition, and Global Health (Institut Axellite)
  • Avalanche Skills, Level 1 (Canadian Avalanche Association)
  • Mountaineering Course (Yamnuska)

Marie-Andrée Fortin

Trail Running Guide

A graduate in Education and Adventure Tourism, Marie-Andrée finds happiness in learning about different cultures around the world. From long winter expeditions to running down Mount Kilimanjaro, she specializes as a guide for active adventures with an emphasis on contemplating the natural environment and understanding the local culture. She currently lives in Nunavik, where her daily life is made up of trail running, skiing, fatbiking, and skijoring. Her organizational skills are legendary, as is her contagious lust for adventure and travel.

Background

  • 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

Valérie Gagné

Trail Running Guide

An all-around athlete (rowing, cross-country skiing, cross-country, triathlon, canoe-kayak, swimming), Valérie took up running again in 2014, during an expedition in the Atacama Desert in Chile. There she ran the equivalent of one marathon per day, six days in a row. The event sparked a passion that has since led to many running challenges. Her most recent adventure: a 7-day, 250 km self-supported race on the Big Island in Hawaii. As a physical education teacher, Valérie sees running as an opportunity to push her limits, but most importantly as a platform to educate and inspire others to make positive lifestyle changes.

Background

  • National-level athlete in cross-country skiing and rowing
  • Head coach for the Nunavik-Québec cross-country skiing team at the Arctic Winter Games in Greenland (2015-2016)
  • Wilderness First Aid Training (Sirius)
  • Ambassador for the Impossible2Possible Foundation

Olivier Paradis

Trail Running Guide

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 is a four-season runner who does not miss an opportunity to stretch his legs. He 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 (Sirius)
  • AEC in Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism (Collège Merici)
  • Mountaineering and Outdoor Leadership Certification (NOLS)
  • Mountain Hiking Guide for Terra Ultima

Philippe Robert

Trail Running Guide

Philippe was drawn to physical activity and adventure from a young age. He embarked on his career in the field after earning a BA in Adventure and Outdoor Guiding from the UQAC, where he gained solid expertise in the great outdoors. Fuelled by a challenge, he is a keen trail runner, climber, mountaineer, and backcountry skier. These activities are also a launching pad for his love of travel. A good listener and strong believer in shared experiences, he enjoys expeditions in excellent company. Among his next challenges are completing an 80 km trail race, exploring the great Canadian west, and reaching heights of over 4000 meters.

Background

  • Certified Running Coach (Courseàpied.ca)
  • Bachelor's Degree, Adventure and Outdoor Guiding (UQAC)
  • Wilderness First Aid Training (Sirius)
  • Mountaineering Training (Attitude montagne)

David Jeker

Running Coach

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 adapted to your needs and 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

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.

Ian Penney

Trail Running Guide - England

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!

Kate Ayres

Trail Running Guide - England

A keen mountaineer, Kate spends most of her time in the outdoors, climbing British and European mountains on behalf of Mountain Journeys, a guiding service that she runs with her husband in the Lake District. She holds the UK Mountain Leader and Single Pitch Climbing Awards, and is a UK Athletics fell-running coach for the junior section of her running club, which she set up several years ago. Kate aims to give you a safe and enjoyable time, sharing with you her skills and enthusiasm for the mountains. She is pictured above with Don, her favorite trail running partner.

Carlos Sá

Trail Running Guide - Portugal

Carlos was only 13 years old when he finished his first half- marathon in 1:26. As a young adult, he devoted himself to mountaineering, climbing several peaks in the Andes and the Alps. In order to train properly for these ascents, he started running in the mountains. That's where he got hooked on trail running. Since 2008, he has been running ultratrails and continuously ranks among the best. His greatest achievements include winning the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2013, a 217 km race in Death Valley, California, one of the hottest places on Earth. In Portugal, Carlos is the organizer of several trail events in Peneda-Gerês. Here's your chance to explore this unique area with one of its best ambassadors.

Marko Herman

Trail Running Guide - Croatia

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.

Mauricio Díaz

Trail Running Guide - Mexico

A runner by heritage and an adventurer by nature, Mauricio is also co-founder of a trail running collective in Mexico. His adventure logbook is filled with seven marathons (three completed in under 3 hours), four ultramarathons, an Olympic-distance triathlon, plus 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)

James Kaler

Trail Running Guide - France

James lives and breathes mountains. IFMGA-certified, with over 20 years of experience as a mountain guide, he's also an instructor for the French Ski Federation, coach, trainer, and lecturer. Founder of a mountain activity service in Chamonix, he has climbed numerous summits in France, Switzerland, Italy, Ecuador, and the African continent. James has several ultramarathons under his belt, including Tor des Géants, which he completed in 132 hours. He draws from experience and his academic background in mental preparation and performance coaching to offer good physical and mental preparation to runners who are interested in long distances. His philosophy of running: full consciousness, letting go, and above all, having fun.

Xact Nutrition

Official Energy Provider

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 de Montréal

Training Partner

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.

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