Florent Beaufils is an ultra traileur and ultra designer. He designed the design of our latest Ultra Energy Drink Mixes. We had the pleaseure to interview "Flo" for the launch of the drink mixes in France.
Hey Flo, what is your journey, where do you live and train?
My name is Florent Beaufils (I prefer Flo), I am 38 years old and live in Saint-Briac in Brittany in France by the sea with my partner and my 2 daughters. I am a freelance art director/illustrator. I have been working for more than 10 years on visual identity, textile illustration, publishing, packaging and web design projects.
At the same time, I have been practicing trail and ultra trail since 2019 after playing football for a long time as a goalkeeper. Strangely, as stated above, I live far from the mountains and my training spots are rather the coastal paths of the GR34. This does not prevent me from presenting myself in races with steep gradients.
Tell us more about your sporting achievements.
First, without a doubt, I would say my 5th place on the Ouest Trail Tour 2019 (the equivalent of the Brittany championship comprising 5 races of around 50km) when I was just starting running. This result brought me directly a qualification for the famous Ultra Trail of "Diagonale Des Fous" 2020 in La Reunion (also know as Grand Raid).
This Diagonale Des Fous was my 2nd achievement. I finally ran it in 2021 since it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. It was one of my dreams to participate in this race when I started to take my first strides, so having the opportunity to participate only 2 years (finally 3) after my debut was incredible. In addition, it went very well with a 54th place in 32 hours for what represented my 2nd real ultra.
My 3rd achievement was the MIUT (Madeira Island Ultra-Trail) in April 2022. But I prefer to highlight the fact that I manage today to reconcile my sports practice which includes 6 to 8 training sessions per week with my professional activity and my family. I managed to find a balance and it is for me a success.
Florent Beaufils at Madeira Island Ultra Trail (MIUT) in April 2022.
What is your best racing memory?
Cross the finish line of the Stade de La Redoute with Émilie, Ambre and Ines (her partner and two daughter). I used to say that ultra trail running is the most collective of individual sports. And clearly these 32 hours of adventure I lived them on the trails, but they, they lived them through the assistance, the follow-up, the comfort etc. They experienced the same intensity. In addition to being an incredible race, sharing this experience as a family was just fantastic.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your visual creations?
For some time I have been trying to mix my passion for outdoor sports with my job. So of course I am inspired by what I see when I run, when I ride a bike or when I am on the water doing stand up paddle. But I have also always had an attraction for urban/hip hop culture and especially typography work.
So I try to mix it all up a bit to offer a unique universe. Also note that the majority of my work is initially done by hand before moving on to the computer tool in order to keep a certain authenticity.
Tell us more about your collaboration with Näak.
When Näak offered me this collaboration, the challenge immediately interested me because the brand is already established in the trail community. But also because there was a challenge in proposing something playing on both the visual codes and the history of the brand while injecting a dose of my universe into it. So for this new product I decided to propose a pattern using my graphic style and using the shape of the Näak logo while embedding visuals relating to flavors.
I immediately thought that the illustration could bring originality as well as strength to the pack and therefore to the product by rebound. Moreover it is a process that I thought to be able to be declined if new flavors were to see the light of day. At the level of the layout of the pack, we tried to bring an evolution while not completely losing the history of the existing packs on other products of the range.
What are your next racing goals?
After the MIUT in April, the season will continue in the Italian Dolomites with the Lavaredo Ultra Trail (120 km). Then in September I will come to Canada to run the Harricana Ultra Trail (125 km). Which is a nice nod to my collaboration with Näak by going to the birthplace of the course.
Visit Florent Beaufils' website to learn more about his creations.