The Men Behind The Evergreen – Part 2

Bruno and Carlton have pioneered an eco conscious iron distance triathlon in the Alps which you can read all about here.

We’ve already pinned down Bruno for an interview and now its Carlton Rowlands turn. Here are his 10 quick fire questions…

1. What initially bought you to Chamonix and what keeps you here?

I’ve always been in the outdoors and the mountains and as a junior ski racer I spent a season here in Les Houches. I guess that planted the seed which eventually bought me back here. As a trail runner the allure of the mountains and world class trails is huge, and my day job as an Osteopath at La Clinique du Sport allows me to stay here as well as supporting the right work hard, play hard balance. Thankfully it all fits perfectly with Chamonix, for that I count myself very lucky.

2. You are competing at a professional level with Team Vibram, how do you keep a healthy balance between training, working and the odd spot of socialising?!

I’m not entirely sure its healthy! They say give the job to the busiest person, (but please don’t give me anymore jobs) there’s truth in it for sure. I guess I always try to see the bigger picture, and I’ve learned to really appreciate the balance of different pressures… I definitely don’t always get it right though!

3. What is your proudest achievement to date?

In sporting terms I’d say 12th TDS 2014 and subsequent selection into Team Vibram. Generally I’d say I’m proud of the work/life balance I’ve been able to strike here in Chamonix and the beast we’re creating with Evergreen!

4. You’re still only in your 20’s, where would you like to see yourself in 1o years time?

An Ultra Trail Mont Blanc podium would be nice, then I would be able to hang up the shoes! I’d also love to see Evergreen Endurance grow internationally with a standardised model for environmental responsibility in endurance sport. To see this growth without compromising our core values is vital.

5. You’re obviously a very driven athlete, do you let go and allow yourself a treat now and then and if so what is your guilty pleasure?!

No absolutely not, my body is a temple! Ha Ha… You’ve got to enjoy the journey and whilst sacrifice is important so is loving what you do… So I won’t hold back with a Chocolate Croissant (or four) after a long day up the mountain and on the trails!

6. Evergreen Endurance has a great ethical backbone behind it, was there a moment for you that specifically drove this need for events being conscious of their carbon impact?

Most of our brain storming sessions happen in the mountains – I think we were training as usual killing each other up to Belachat or something like that. There’s a lot of events out there, battling in one-upmanship just to prove their event is the hardest! Partially against that movement we wanted to create a new baseline or standard in endurance sport. We’re outdoor athletes and we see the detrimental effect these events are having in vulnerable places such as Chamonix. Big events are accountable for a massive carbon footprint. We understand that, and enjoy what they bring, so we needed to create a more responsible approach, hence ‘Hammer The Race, Leave No Trace!’

7. What time of day is your favourite time to steal an hour or two to hit the trails around Chamonix and why?

The Dawn raid! After an obligatory shouting session… I’m not really a morning person!

8. What do you like to do when you really want to switch off from the busy life you lead?

I find the long run very meditative actually and it really helps me recalibrate, as well a good old ski mountaineering social with my brother and some chilled time with friends and family, the usual social shenanigans… always completely T-total of course!

9. Do you miss anything from the UK, what is it and why?

I’m from the New Forest originally. My running career began amongst the humble hills and forested trails and there are certainly a few secret spots I miss like hell! And of course I miss old English pubs and ummm the Queen….?

10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of entering any of the Evergreen Endurance races?

In both racing and training be patient, and play the long game. Its a lot of training and a long way to race on the day, therefore training for this kind of event takes over your life to some extent and you need to make sure it makes a positive impact. Make a plan, but be kind to yourself and of course always enjoy the journey!

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