How Ultra Runner Serge Girard Keeps Running Around the Planet

Runner Serge Girard

My name is Girard Serge. I retired from the finance world at the age of 61. I am married and I have three children. I am from the Normandy in France and I love running.

How and why did you get into running around the world?

In 2015, I tried to go around the world by rowing across the oceans and running on the continents, but having been wrecked in the Indian Ocean (see www.sergegirard.org for details), I had to give up this around the world thing. I then decided to do it again, but this time — only running.

My shipwreck has been the main reason to restart. For the last 20 years, I dream, I dare and I do — so it is not difficult to pass from the dream to actually doing things, because I dream all my life.

After the shipwreck, there were only five months left before I restarted. So with not too much time left, all the preparations had to be done in a rush.

Runner Serge Girard

Why is running around the world important for you?

In order to discover and meet people, but not to go for a record. Just for the experience. I think the planet is beautiful and I understand that it is very important to take care and save our planet.

Everywhere has been very interesting, but Alaska, Fiji and Namibia were incredible. The most difficult part was to meet the bears in Alaska and Canada. And the biggest danger on the road were the drivers. I manage difficult times very well, because I am so much into running around the world. It’s my passion to be on the roads of the world!

Runner Serge Girard

How do you prepare and finance your run and adventures?

For the last 20 years, the previous challenge has been my training for the next challenge. To keep me in shape, I just run and run! As for books, I would recommend The 1929 Bunion Derby: the Great Footrace across America. I plan my next challenge during the first day of the present challenge.

Concerning finances, I finance my run mainly from sponsoring. My adventuring usually costs around 300.000 USD including making a movie and a book. The main expenses is the documentary movie, which includes salaries, travel expenses, material and the film’s international version). Besides that, my money is usually spent more on traveling than on gear.

How do you eat and sleep on the road?

Camping, motels and guesthouses. I eat local foods and go to supermarkets to buy food. We usually park our support vehicle along the road. We have put the materials in the 4X4 and the tents were on the top of the car. Sadly, I do not remember of the brand of the materials.

How do you balance family life with running?

My wife is with me around the world, she is a physiotherapist. My children are adults: Nicolas is 42 years old, Thomas is 28 years old, and Sebastian is 26 years old and they live their own lives now.

Runner Serge Girard

How do you bring things with you?

I prefer a backpack, the EVO model from HOKA. As I have an support vehicle, this HOKA EVO model is enough for me as I am fueled by this vehicle every 5 km, so I do not need a lot of things in this backpack. For other athletes who may have a support vehicle, I recommend this HOKA backpack as it is very lightweight.

I have one or two vehicles for assistance and for making the movie, but they’re not with me the whole day.

What has been your best adventuring purchase below $100?

A pair of running shoes, because I love my running shoes for travelling. My other favorite gear would be my very old cap. So old I do not remember the brand.

I have 30 pairs of shoes and I change them every 800 km.

What is your best advice for people who want to follow your footsteps?

To Dream; To Dare and finally to Do (triple D). Do it now so you won’t regret in few years that you missed your dreams.

Runner Serge Girard

What will the future bring?

My next adventure would be running from North Pole to South Pole or South Pole to North Pole, and I plan to begin in April 2019.


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