Savoie trail: A profile of Marie Dohin, an athlete from Méribel

April 30, 2024

Inspirational encounter with runner Marie Dohin

Marie Dohin leads a very busy life. Between her role as Communications Manager at Méribel Tourisme, her impressive performances as an ultra-trail athlete for Kiprun, and her responsibilities as a mother, she juggles the different facets of her life with dynamism.

What’s her secret? Find out in this article her tips for reconciling passion, work and family.


Trail in the Alps ⛰️



Marie Dohin’s evolution in the world of trail running :

Originally from Strasbourg, Marie started running in an urban environment. Although she discovered mountain running at a late stage, the summits are now her daily playground, allowing her to live her passion to the full.


Where does your love of trail running come from ?

Marie: Growing up, running was an integral part of my daily life because my dad was a marathon runner. I was lucky enough to travel with him on his races around the world. But when I met my husband, I was running in urban environments. So he said to me: “Marie, running is nothing if not in the great outdoors”. I went along with him and that’s how I discovered trail running on our outings in Normandy, where we lived at the time. Gradually, I got into the swing of things, seduced by the feeling of escape and disconnection that trail running provides.

From tarmac to the great outdoors

How did you become an athlete? 

Marie : I became an athlete gradually, somewhat by chance. I’ve always been very sporty, but running was more of a hobby. As time went by and I took part in various competitions, I realised that I had a good level in this discipline. I like the competitive aspect of this sport, it challenges me: one has to face up to others, but also oneself and one’s limits. Little by little, I gained a certain status and was recruited by the Kiprun team, which is made up of 11 women and 6 men, all of very good level and from different backgrounds. This team creates a great collective dynamic within an individual discipline.


You’ve been racing for about ten years now. What still motivates you?

Marie : The key word is fun. When you do ultra trail, there are some very tough moments in the mountains, but thanks to your preparation, you give your body the ability to absorb and manage the difficulty as best it can. It’s so fascinating to see the body’s resilience and ability to evolve. And trail running is also a fabulous way to travel! My partner and I have walked and run in Peru, Cape Verde, Ecuador and Reunion Island. There are so many wonderful itineraries and landscapes to discover!


What are your next sporting challenges? 

Marie : A lot of races appeal to me. This year I’ll be taking part in the UTMB TDS race, which is a great challenge. I’ve also got my sights set on the Diagonale des Fous in Réunion in the years to come. Beyond competition, I’m hoping to do the 3 valleys tour on a carefully mapped out route

Balancing motherhood and sporting performance

Photo : Sylvain Aimoz

Athlète and mother

Has motherhood changed your relationship with sport? 

Marie: I was often told that motherhood would mean the end of top-level sport, that I wouldn’t be able to do everything. However, I’ve always been able to integrate many activities into my daily life, including sport, friends, work, love life… Then the children arrived, and they became a priority. With my habit of planning, this new organisation wasn’t so very difficult. As sport is a vital necessity for me, the time when I go to train is very precisely planned.  I have no problem going for an early morning run so as not to take up time with my children, or doing sport during my lunch break. This helps me maintain a healthy life balance.


Some athletes talk about ‘sacrifice’, which is not your case. You refer instead to, good time management. 

Marie :  When my children were very young, I used to wonder whether it was selfish to go off and train in the mountains, because it meant spending less time with them. But what’s the point of being a frustrated parent who doesn’t fulfil his own wishes? Being a parent means sharing fabulous moments with your child on a daily basis, but it also means being a fulfilled adult! Here, I’m lucky because as soon as I leave the house, I find myself at the Lac du Tueda, from where I can access a variety of equally sumptuous itineraries: exploring the Parc National de la Vanoise, a tour of the Tougnète ridges, around the Aiguille du Fruit… It doesn’t require any complex logistics, which allows me to have time for myself and to be a good mum afterwards. 

Mountain air : trail running in the Alps

About ten years ago, the athlete moved to Méribel in Savoie. A setting that has constantly fuelled her passion and her desire to explore new horizons.



Has living in Méribel, in the heart of the mountains, strengthened your passion?

Marie : Yes, indeed ! When I moved to Méribel, the term ‘trail’ took on a whole new meaning. The region offers a unique playground for running, very different from the urban or rural environment. When you don’t know an area like this, it’s a fabulous way to get to know it. What makes this sport so magical is the quest for what lies beyond what you can see. Here you discover a place, but you’re always drawn to what lies beyond a pass or a valley. What’s more, you never get tired of the landscape, because the seasons, the environment and the colours change dramatically, and it never ceases to delight and inspire.


Is this an advantage for your practice? 

Marie : Absolutely raining at altitude, the difference in altitude and the routes we can take on a daily basis are real assets. Because it’s a fact: to perform well in the mountains, you have to run in the mountains. Of course, you can live in the city and be a very good trail runner by developing the qualities you need in other ways. But to optimise your mountain skills, it’s crucial to know the terrain you’ll be competing in and to understand the gradient ratios, the altitude, the particularities of the terrain… There’s no denying that living here makes things easier. However, there’s a heightened temptation to overdo things. You have to learn to moderate yourself.


Trail guide in Méribel 🏞️

Les évènements de trail à Méribel

Méribel offers a diverse range of races throughout the year. Running enthusiasts, let yourself be captivated by the Méribel Valley, an ideal playground for trail running.

What is your fondest sporting memory of Méribel?

Marie : I’d say the Méribel Trail in 2020, after the Covid period. It was the 50 km, a pretty fabulous course that took you all around the valley. It was just after my first daughter was born in January, so it was a real challenge for me! But I enjoyed myself throughout the race, because it was an opportunity to get back to the mountains, to see familiar faces again, and to get back into sport in a friendly atmosphere. This year, on 10 and 11 August, the Trail de Méribel will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. I’ll be there for the 35 km!


What are the trail events in Méribel?

Marie: In April, the Olympe Challenge takes place. It’s a beautiful popular event with a team of passionate volunteers. Then in August, as mentioned earlier, the Méribel Trail offers a variety of courses suitable for all levels. It’s an opportunity for everyone to discover the beauty of Méribel and escape into nature.


Agenda trails Méribel 🏃🏾

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Crédits : 

Interview conducted by Ophélie Zayonnet.

Photos by Sylvain Aymoz and Manuella Feuillet.