Julien Leclerc is a 20-year-old French student in his second year of physics. He completed an amazing cross country walk this summer to raise funds for the Honorine Lève-toi association. After leaving Calvados on May 7, 2022, he reached his final destination in the Pyrenees exactly 40 days and 59 minutes later after covering 1,002 km and crossing 251 towns. Looking back, this young extreme sports enthusiast shares his experience with Toombow Kids!
Toombow Kids: Hello Julien, how are you? Our readers would love to know how you came up with the idea of this walk!
Julien: Hello everyone, I’m doing great! Well, after a complicated time in my life, I needed to challenge myself! Then I had an idea: I thought that if I could link sports to a good cause, it would be really cool! So I contacted the Honorine Lève-toi association that I knew in my town. It was created by a couple to support their daughter Honorine who is a child with multiple disabilities. They were thrilled with the idea, we set up a fundraising campaign and off we went!
Toombow Kids: What a great idea! Was Honorine happy that you were doing this walk?
Julien: Yes, she was! When I came back, the association had a party and Honorine was really happy. What’s more, our goal was to raise 2,500 euros, and in the end we raised 5,385 euros! These funds will be used to build a school for children with multiple disabilites that Honorine’s parents have opened!
Toombow Kids: Congratulations ! This is wonderful news! How did you eat and where did you sleep?
Julien: I had a big bag with me, weighing 50 pounds, with things including a tent that I set up every night to sleep in. I also had a stock of high-calorie freeze-dried meals and every 8 days, my parents would meet me at a stage to provide me with supplies.
Toombow Kids: Okay, but were you scared to travel alone?
Julien: Not at all. However, for my parents it was much more frightening! (laughs) They supported me a lot and it’s true that there were some difficult moments…
Toombow Kids: Oh yeah, like what for example?
Julien: At one stage when I was in the mountains, I got lost. I was at 2500 meters of altitude and I had to go to the other side of the slope but there was a big storm that prevented me from going down. Fortunately, as the press was waiting for me there, a contact at the city hall called the emergency services and they were able to geolocate me. I must admit I was really scared because it was very dangerous.
Toombow Kids: It sure sounds like it ! So what was your best memory?
Julien: The whole trip was a great experience. But I must admit that the first time I saw the Pyrenees, it was magnificent! I’ll never forget it.
Toombow Kids: Do you have any advice for our young readers who would like to go on a big expedition one dayand ?
Julien: Go for it! These are experiences that we rarely have and even the bad memories become good ones. You must also be well prepared, be careful. Above all, the most important thing is to be mentally strong!
Toombow Kids: Thank you Julien! See you soon, sportsman!