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Benoit Laval, a tough Businessman

Between noon and two, don’t try to contact Benoît Laval at his desk, his telephone doesn’t answer. The Raidlight boss doesn’t allow himself a lunch break, he tastes his paces. Originally from the outskirts of Paris (but with roots in rural Corrèze), he launched himself, at the age of 10, in the pursuit of his father, a marathon runner, and then with his friends with whom he ran each Wednesday afternoon. On athletics tracks the 1000m, 1500m, 3000m steeple chases were his first favourite distances. He ate up the kilometres in the same way that others lifted iron weights. For the pleasure.

After five years of engineering studies at the ESTIT - Ecole Supérieur de Techniques Industrielles et des Textiles (University of Industrial Techniques and Textiles) in Lille (North of France), he started his military service at the Saint-Cyr School in Coëtquidan, where he graduated at the head of his class, and chose to become an Alpine soldier at Bourg-Saint-Maurice: an occasion to run in the mountains and settle into the Rhône-Alpes region. To stay close to his new running terrain, he looked for a job in the region and found the post of chargé d’affaires with a company in Saint-Etienne who manufactured back packs for well-known brand names.

In 1999, in parallel to his job, he created his own company. “At that time, my honours ran two lines, and Raidlight had 10 products in its catalogue”, says Benoît Laval. Both have progressed in parallel, in the same direction. “The practice of sports helps the progression of Raidlight and its growth has allowed me to run elsewhere, this is what gave me the craving to run the Marathon des Sables. The common denominator between the two disciplines: trail runs and businesses are two endurance races...”

Remarks collected by V. Charbonnier – Independent journalist

Benoît LAVAL

President-Founder of RAIDLIGHT

Textile engineer of ESTIT, graduating with top honours in 1995.
Graduation with top honours from the Reserve Officers Military School of Saint-Cry in Coëtquidan 1995-2002.
Contributor to the magazine Jogging International.

THE TOP HONOURS List of Benoît Laval :
TRAIL:
1 selection in the French National Trail Team
2nd, 4th, 5th in the Grand Raid de la Réunion 2003, 6 participations
9th in the MARATHON DES SABLES, 3 participations
1st in the Trail Blanc of Serre-Chevalier, 1st in the Raidlight Trail Trophy
1st in the GUADARUN, TRANS AQ’...
11 victories at the DEFI DE L’OISANS
2nd at the French Trail Championship

Snowshoe Racing:
French National Champion for snowshoe racing, twice
6th in the EUROPEAN CUP of snowshoe racing...

ROAD RACING / ATHLETICS:
5th in the French National Championships for 100km (Belvès in 7h32m)
13th in 100km of Millau
Records: 2h41m Marathon, 32m34s 10km, 2m38s 1000m

ORIENTEERING:
World Raid Champion IOF 2000
1st in the FRANCITAL, VERTICAL, BOMBIS, LA BLANCHE raids
2nd in the French National Championship for Orienteering-Raids, three times

TREKKING:
Solo expedition of the Aconcagua (6985m)
Solo crossing of the Pyrenees (520km)
Bivouac on the summit of the Mont Blanc

COMPLETE HONOURS BOARD/

2010...
1 selection in the French National Trail Team (Swiss Alpine Marathon of Davos-Switzerland, 4th on the 42km trail)
Winner of the Annapurna Mandala Trail in Nepal ( 11 stages, 380km, 2 passes above 5 000 m)
Winner of the Bugeat Correze Raidlight Trail (Trail, 42km )
Winner of the Pilat Winter Raidlight Trail (Trail, 32km in the snow)
Winner of the Trail des Calanques (20km between Marseille and Cassis)
10th of the 2010 Empire State Building Run Up (86 floors, 1550 steps, 12min06s, New-York)

2009...
Victor of the Course des Gueules Noires (10km nature run / La Ricamarie 42)
French Vice-champion for snowshoe racing (FFME) (Albepierre / 15)
3rd in the Trail de Paris (ECO-Trail) (leg of the French Trail Championship, 80 km – finish line on the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower / from Saint-Quentin en Yvelines in Paris)
French Vice Champion of Trail FFA
Winner of the Trail Blanc de Serre Chevalier (Trail, 28km in the snow)
Winner of the Raidlight Trail Trophy (stage of the French Trail Championship, trail of 32 km in the snow)
Winner of the Trail du Nivolet-Revard (stage of the French Trail Championship, trail, 49km)
Winner of the Trail des Lacs (stage of the French Trail Championship, 58 km)
Winner of the DEFI de L’OISANS (200km / D+12.000m / 6 days/ 8 stages)
Winner of the Trail des Calanques (20km between Marseille and Cassis)
2nd of the Annapurna Mandala Trail in Nepal ( 9 days, 300km, 3 passes above 5 000 m)
6th at the Trail des Templiers (72km, most famous trail in France)

2008 I passed a racing speed personal record, loads of variety...
Victor of the Progrès-Jalon Sports Challenge (Challenge 2008 for off track racing in the Loire)
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
Record for the Parcours des 25 bosses in Fontainebleau (1h48m52s)
Winner of the Frison-Roche (Trail 37km Elevation +2400m in Beaufort)
Winner of the Tahoe Lake Trail (Trail 20 miles (32km) - California)
Winner of the AmberTrail (Trail of 32km at Ambert)
Winner of the Cross des Calanques (Trail of 20km between Marseille and Cassis)
Winner of the short itinerary in the Lyon Urban Trail (20km, Lyon)
Winner of the SaintéLyon relay of 2, mixed team category
Winner of the short itinerary in the Courir pour des Pommes (25km, Saint-Martin-la Plaine)
Winner of the short itinerary in the Trail de la Cote Roannaise (18km, Renaison)

2nd in the Gruissan Phoebus Trail (Trail 47km)
2nd in the Trail de la Forestière (18km, St-Alban-les-Eaux – Department 42)
2nd in the Montée St-Rambert-Chambles (11km, Chambles- Department 42)
3rd in the Raidlight Trail Trophy (Trail 33km)
3rd in the 10km of Saint-Etienne (32m34s)

6th in the Trail Blanc de Serre-Chevallier (Trail 22km in the snow)
10th in the Libyan Challenge (race of 190km under self-sufficiency in the Akakus desert)
17th in the Grande Course des Templiers (72km, the biggest Trail in France)

2007 Good season, varied !..
Winner of the TRANS AQ’ (race under semi-self-sufficiency, 6 days, 230km)
Winner of the Marathon Nature de la Drome (42km, Elevation +1000m)
Winner of the Trail du Grand-Brassac (46km in 2 stages, of which a night run)
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
Winner of the Cross des Lentilles de Cilaos (Réunion) (12km trail)
Winner of the SaintéLyon relay of 2, mixed team category
2nd in the Raid LA BLANCHE (FFCO Orienteering Raid)
3rd in the French Championships for Orienteering-Raids (FFCO Orienteering Raid)
3rd in the WinterTrail of La Clusaz (14km in snow, with a downhill profile)
4th in the Trail of the Sainte Victoire (44km, Elevation +2400m)
4th in the raid ATO (Orienteering raid over 2 days)
4th in the raid O’BIVWAK (Orienteering raid over 2 days)

2006 Not much training, results from experience...
Winner of the Trans Aq’ (240km in 6 days / semi-self-sufficiency)
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
5th in the French National Championships for 100km (Belvès in 7h32m)

2005 Not much training, results from experience...
Winner of the Trail de Vulcain (57km / Elevation +1400m / integrally in snow)
Winner of the Raid FRANCITAL (FFCO Orienteering Raid)
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
2nd in the French Championships for Orienteering-Raid (FFCO Orienteering Raid)
2nd in the LA BLANCHE (FFCO Orienteering Raid)
3rd in the Raid IGN-LAFUMA (FFCO Orienteering Raid)

2004 Not much training, results from experience...
Winner 9th in the Marathon des Sables (Morocco) (240km / 6 days / 6 stages)
4th in the VolcanoTrail (Guadeloupe) (55km / Elevation +3200m)
Coach/Assistance to Alexandra ROUSSET in the Grand Raid de la Réunion (1st Woman racer)
Others : Interlacs in Corsica, Trail du Ventoux.

2003 Great year !
Winner in the French National Championship for snowshoe racing, (FFME)
Winner of the French Cup for snowshoe racing (FFME)
6th in the European Cup for snowshoe racing
2nd in the Grand Raid de la Réunion (125km / Elevation +8400m / 19h01m)
19th in the Marathon des Sables (Morocco) (240km / 6 days / 6 stages)
Winner of the VolcanoTrail (Guadeloupe) (45km / Elevation +3200m)
Winner of the Guadarun (Guadeloupe) (120km / Elevation +7000m / 6 days)
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
2nd in the French Championships for Orienteering-Raid (FFCO Orienteering Raid)
Others: Interlacs in Corsica, Trail du Ventoux, Desert Cup in Mali.

2002
Winner of the VolcanoTrail (Guadeloupe) (45km / Elevation +3200m)
Winner of the Roc des Boeufs
4th in the Tchimbé Raid (Martinique - Fianle Gds Raids FFME)
. 2nd in the Maratour des Glaciers
. 2nd in the Raid AZUR (FFCO Orienteering Raid)
3rd in the French Championships for snowshoe racing (FFME)
2nd the French Cup for snowshoe racing (FFME)
Others: Grand Raid de la Réunion (abandon)

2001
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
Winner of the Maratour des Glaciers (35km / Elevation +2800m)
2nd in the Raid FRANCITAL (55km of orienteering / 2 days)
French Champion for snowshoe racing (FFME)
1st for the French Cup for snowshoe racing (FFME)
Others: Grand Raid de la Réunion (abandon)

2000 A very full year, lots of great results !
Winner of the World Trophy for IOF Orienteering Raids (Challenge International Challenge for Orienteering Raids)
French Vice-Champion of FFCO Orienteering Raids
Winner of the Raid FRANCITAL and the Raid BOMBIS (55km of orienteering / 2 days)
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
Winner of the Pierra Menta mixed team (alpine ski-ing Elevation 10000m /3 days)
French Champion Orienteering club Nationale 2
French Champion of FFME Snowshoe-Orienteering
4th in the Grand Raid de la Réunion (125km / Elevation +8400m / 17h01m)
Others: Sancy-Puy de Dôme (2nd), Raid Azur (3rd), Raid ATO (3rd)

1999 Great confirmation
Winner of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)
3rd in the Grand Raid du Verdon (120km / Elevation +6000m / 3 days)
5th in the Grand Raid de la Réunion (125km / Elevation +8400m / 17h01m)

1998 The beginnings
Victor of the Défi de l’Oisans (200km / Elevation +12000m / 6 days / 8 stages)

Expeditions
. 1998 : Solo expedition of the Aconcagua (6985m, Argentina)
. 1998 : Bivouac on the summit of the Mont-Blanc
. 1994 : Solo crossing of the Pyrenees, (520 km, 21 days)

OUT OF THE ORDINARY
A 1000m in the Stade de France for the opening of the meeting, it was for the 1000m for readers of the magazine Jogging, I was lucky, I won the tombola. Just like on TV: a giant screen whilst running, the mobile camera on the side of the track, baskets to put your starting gear in.. and a victory in 2m51s!

The Empire State Building climb: 86 floors and 1500 steps in 12 minutes. Start with 120 runners and a 1 metre-wide door to pass through at the end of 10 metres! Stifling heat, “lactic” race, but a great souvenir for a very high level race, 7th with 5 different nations in front of me!

Publié:
10 Juin 2014
pages affichées:
289

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