Discover Christophe Vissant and his crazy challenge : running around Australia! (Part 3)
Christophe Vissant is preparing for an amazing challenge: to complete a non-stop run all the way around Australia: an Australian Challenge Tour of 15000km’s passing through every state capital with the exception of Canberra.
In this exclusive interview with Le Courrier Australien, who are sponsors of his challenge, Christophe explains his personal concerns regarding the route across the Australian terrain: his fantasy since childhood.
Why, specifically, did you choose to undertake your next long course in Australia?
As a child I dreamed of visiting Australia, in particular the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the only living organism that is visible from space, I find that absolutely fascinating! After my diving accident, I promised myself that if ever I recovered the use of my legs, I would come and run in Australia.
I am particularly concerned by the fact that the Great Barrier Reef is disappearing, and I would like to use my run to draw the public’s attention to this imminent catastrophe. I have therefore decided to give back to a charity that defends this cause, the equivalent of the petrol consumption of the two vehicles that will follow me during the run. I also plan to help an organisation which defends the right of Aboriginals, which is a cause that is very important to me.
Have you any concerns specific to Australia?
I have more than one actually. Firstly the climate: I am uneasy about the strong heat, and also the strong rains in the west and north. This is because I will have to sleep in a tent: there are no 4 star hotels to keep me warm and dry at night.
I know there will be a section of my course that will be extremely challenging mentally between Perth and Darwin. The Nullabor plain is never-ending: 1500 km’s in a practically deserted straight line…
I also have a fear of snakes, and I know that in Australia this is a real problem when running! Not to mention other animals that are just as dangerous, for example crocodiles in the North. As soon as I finish the coast, I plan to stick to the main tracks. I have also been warned of the danger of dingoes and camels.
I’m certain to come across many Kangaroos, some of which will be road kill: the smell is going to be intolerable. And finally, just like in Russia, I am nervous about large trucks, which might run me over.
For these reasons I need to be prepared to stay very vigilant. I won’t be able to run while listening to music for example, I have to concentrate and listen to my surroundings to avoid danger.
Have you already contacted Australia, have you already organised to meet with people?
Yes of course! I know for example, about 100 runners in Bribane will be running alongside me. But also in Sydney, Perth and even Darwin!
Many French communities have already contacted me. I have even made plans on the morning I begin, to eat a croissant in a new bakery, ‘La Vie Est Belle’ in Sydney, whose owners are supporting me.
Translated by Penny Burfitt
Return for the next instalment of our interview with Cristophe Vissant next week!