Report - Benoît Julien



Here is my little story of the 2001 Défi. I have been skating on the Estacade for the past 6 years (a 27 km ride) noticing each year the signs for the Défi without ever daring to try it. I always thought this event was meant for top athletes or crazy people (perhaps the latter is a bit true). How can someone do 6 times the distance that I was painfully doing once!

At the end of August, after looking at the pamphlet for days, I decided to check out the Défi web site and send an email to Rod. I must say that Rod was instrumental in convincing me that I could take on the Défi with proper training over the remaining 7 weeks. So I closely followed his training tips and started to realize that doing 40km or even 60km was personally feasible. This is when I started to really get into it and the addiction started! The training reached its peak the weekend before the Défi when I did the full tour alone over 2 days to familiarize myself with the roads. It took me 8:40 to complete the loop with 55-70km gusty winds on the second day.

The real one-day Défi on Saturday was an amazing experience and I was so glad to do it after really training for it. I did the tour solo and I remember smiling alone on many parts of the tour. I guess it was the joy and excitement of finally doing it with great people and great weather. I could not believe it was only 11:00 am when I reached the end of section 4, this was an hour under what I did the weekend before! However, I must say I was no longer smiling during the last section... But nevertheless arriving at the finish line under 7 hours was great and unexpected. More importantly the cheers were welcome and it was great cheering back other skaters. I will do it again.

Benoît Julien