From his base in the Maritime Alps of southern France, Germain travels the world, but he’s always happiest when he’s back in the Mercantour National Park skiing, biking, climbing or running. His deep passion for ultra-running comes from its power to help him escape and to grow as a person.
How did you start running? I’ve been active in the mountains my whole life but was really focused on skiing and biking. I started running pretty late in my twenties when I left cycling. Living in the mountains, I saw that trail running would be the simplest and fastest way to move on challenging terrain and draw my own lines towards ridges and summits.
Why do you run now?
To keep moving fast and light in the mountains and expand my playground every day.
What was the most important race you’ve run to date? I guess the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc races (OCC and CCC) as they are typically the most competitive in the world.
What is your pre-race ritual? It depends on my mood. If I feel tight and stressed, I will do a short yoga session. If I feel motivated, I like to play a few songs on my guitar.
What do you think about while running? I stay connected to the elements, no headphones. As a former geologist, I constantly try to understand how the mountains grew up through the years. It adds a meaning to my runs.
What is your go-to training meal? Raw veggies with some tofu or beans… and always pesto or hummus! And American coffee made by a real American [Germain's partner and On athlete Katie Schide].
How do you recover after a tough run? Usually I take a dip in my local cold river and enjoy the sunset.
What song is your go-to for the run? Currently really into Asgeir, an Icelandic artist, but I rarely listen to music while I run
Who is your “team”? The essentials are Katie, my American runner and Ranco my sweet border collie. I have a huge marmot staff too.
Apart from endurance sports, what is your passion? I love music. I play accordion, guitar, and piano. It makes me feel light.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received? Don’t forget to walk when you can run.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? That they should have shorter feet than me!
Keep your dreams in mind.
Because On is different and brings a new way to run with lightness and flexibility.
What’s your favorite On shoe and why?
I love the comfort, the fit and the lightness of the Cloud X
What’s your favorite item of On apparel and why?
As I like to feel light, I like the lightweight tank and the way it fits my running movements. Plus, it shows off my huge biceps ;-) .