Working 9 – 6, sure enough by now you know how we make a living but… just what goes on after hours? Following in the footsteps of our ‘12 hours with…’ series, we bring you ‘Out of hours with…’ giving you the chance to catch up with our Stylighters outside the office as they showcase their hobbies, passions and pastimes.
First up? Damien, our product owner and avid trail runner.
What is your position at Stylight?
I’m Product Owner for the Business Development and Finance teams. The position involves defining what the engineering team is going to develop next in order to grow the business further and answering to our client’s needs, internal or external.
What’s your passion/hobby?
I like to practice various outdoor sports but I focus particularly on trail running. Trail running consists of running off the beaten track through nature on a ‘trail’, as opposed to road running. There are as many variations as different playgrounds: mountain, forest, mud, snow, sand… Munich is a top location for an activity like this. Combining city life and mountains within just a 1 hour drive.
When did you first start your passion?
As a child I used to go hiking in the Pyrenees mountains range with my parents. One day, on a difficult hike, a guy overtook us: he was running up the mountain on a rocky and technical trail, wearing just a short, t-shirt and running shoes. I was totally amazed and in absolute awe, I would’ve never imagined something like that was even possible. It was in the mid-90s and back then only a handful of people were practicing the sport.
What does trail running bring you?
First of all and most importantly, it makes me feel fit and healthy. Like many sports, it provides fitness and energy. I also like the whole adventure aspect a lot. Being in the mountains for hours, carrying your own food and water, relying only on yourself and being rewarded by the surrounding beautiful landscapes and rush of emotions during races.
Also, I like the openness and reachability of trail running. It is one of the rare sports where non-pros can talk with elite athletes on the starting line, everyone competing together.
Define your passion in one hashtag
The power outfit to rock it?
First and foremost you need a good pair of running shoes. Shoes that have enough grip so there’s no chance of slipping on wet or rocky trails. Then a small backpack to carry water and food, and possibly a change clothes for long sessions or races. Regarding the wear-gear: sporting clothes that stay as dry as possible and not too ample to avoid friction.
Any advice for someone who would like to start?
I have two that have worked well for me so far:
– Start slow and with short distance. Like on the road, it is highly recommended not to race a full marathon if you haven’t been out running before, due to a high injury risk.
– Set an objective – not matter the distance and the difficulty, it must be achievable within a few months of training but challenging enough to keep you motivated. Once that objective is reached, it is extremely rewarding in terms of personal achievement.
Who or what is your social muse that you like to follow?
I’d say big international star and Catalan athlete Kilian Jornet. He’s the guy who democratized trail running during the 00s, and is still redefining new possibilities every year, mixing-up alpinism and running.
Anything you would like to add?
This inspiring video!
|By Damien Verichon|