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Meet Marie-Pierre Guilbaud, an emblematic figure in cross-country skiing.

"If you're considering a cross-country ski race, this is the one for you!"

A meeting with Marie-Pierre Guilbaud, an emblematic figure in cross-country skiing. Today, she explains her role as event director with Trans'Organisation for the Transjurassienne and shares her tips for a successful Transju'. 

Who is Marie-Pierre Guilbaud? 

Recently retired from her job as a school teacher, she embodies an unshakeable passion for cross-country skiing that has accompanied her for over 45 years. 

A member of the Stade Clermontois, where she practiced athletics, it was during winter training courses in the mountains that cross-country skiing crossed her path, never to leave. 

Today, his practice is pure pleasure and offers him a unique privilege: to glide over the snow in the silence of the forests, sharing "these unique sensations with friends". 

A member of the French Nordic ski team between 1988 and 1995, she took part in the 1992 Albertville Olympic Games. She also won the Transjurassienne 4 times in 1989, 1991, 1994 and 1995. With over a dozen participations to her name, she has been accompanying the participants of Skier pour Elles (a charity association fighting against women's cancers) in the classic 25km for several years now. 

The Transjurassienne in three words: captivating, mythical and popular.

Marie-Pierre Guilbaud has chosen 3 words to present the Transjurassienne. Here's her explanation:

  • Bewitching: "since once you've signed up, it's all you can think about (your preparation, your sleep, your food...)."
  • Mythical: "it's one of the finest events in the Worldloppet, with representatives from 32 nations coming to take part every year."
  • Popular: "Cross-country skiing, which often remains confidential, was bathed in an indescribable popular fervor on this day, with 4,000 runners of all levels sharing the track in a convivial atmosphere".

What does the role of event director entail? 

"After experiencing the race as an athlete, I was honored to be offered this role," shares Marie-Pierre Guilbaud. "Runners, myself included, don't realize the preparatory work that goes into the event: permits, transport... Being on the other side of the fence offers a fascinating perspective," she explains. "This race has a deep meaning for me, it's a way of giving back what I've been given."

Preparing the routes for a major event like the Transju' is a major task. 

Marie-Pierre Guilbaud outlines the main stages in this complex process: "First of all, we have to do a lot of administrative work upstream, applying for the necessary authorizations, particularly in view of the stringent environmental constraints specific to our race. Mobilizing volunteers and dealing with authorities such as the gendarmerie and the prefecture are also crucial stages in this meticulous preparation.

To carry out this mission, Marie-Pierre Guilbaud relies on a team made up of a variety of talents. "The Chairman, Pierre Albert Vandel, is a key figure with in-depth knowledge of the race. His experience enables him to effectively anticipate any problems that may arise," she emphasizes.

And what about the course?

The special feature of the course is its inter-departmental crossing: "What sets it apart from other competitions is that it crosses between two départements. It passes through villages that are emblematic of our massif, where the atmosphere on the day of the event is electrifying.

The major obstacles on the course are often concentrated around the traditional Risoux climb: "which is often considered the decisive moment of the race, conducive to lightning attacks. Victory is often reserved for a competitor with great physical stamina.

Marie-Pierre Guilbaud provides valuable advice for Transju' participants: "There's nothing like skiing regularly from the start of winter, but above all, keep physically active all year round. And on race day: ENJOY IT!

As for convincing someone to sign up for this not-to-be-missed event, she has no shortage of convincing arguments. "If you're considering a cross-country ski race, this is the one for you! Varied Nordic trails, the joyful atmosphere of the clarines in the villages, well-oiled organization... And above all, you'll meet ski enthusiasts, a warm community that vibrates to the rhythm of this discipline."

We look forward to seeing you on February 10 and 11, 2024 to experience the myth of the Transjurassienne.

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Marie-Pierre Guilbaud on the Transjurassienne

Marie-Pierre Guilbaut on the Transjurassienne
Marie-Pierre Guilbaud on the Transjurassienne
Marie-Pierre Guilbaut on the Transjurassienne