Discover Christophe Vissant and his crazy challenge: running around Australia! (Part 4)
Christophe Vissant came up with the intense project of running 15,000 km around Australia.
His Australian Challenge Tour, will lead him around each state capital with the exception of Canberra. In the final part of his interview with, Le Courrier Australien- a partner of the challenge, Christophe Vissant speaks about the physical and mental preparation that goes into this monstrous challenge. He also speaks about his numerous supporters.
Specifically, how do you prepare for a race of almost 15,000 km in Australia?
Regarding the physical, I go for a long run (between 25-40 km) every day. As the commencement date approaches, I increase the distances to 60 km twice a week. I won’t run further than 80 km before arriving in Australia, it’s important not to be over-trained when I start.
Personally, I’m an athlete that predominately trains the mind. For me, 90% of success can be attributed to the mind. In saying that, a large part of my preparation involves yoga and Sophrology… I also take some courses to improve my English so I can more easily express myself during interviews and seminars.
My team have been given a lot of information about Australia and we financed a van to map out the course. We now know, for example, that there is an entire area of the West Coast, where I’ll need to wear an anti-fly hat. I’ve been warned that without this I’ll have flies in my eyes, ears… and they’re impossible to dislodge! This is going to be new for me. My team is extremely knowledgeable regarding particular Australian flora and fauna, which can be dangerous.
A good part of the preparation still involves looking for new partners and sponsors to meet the budget on time.
How can others support you and what budget must you meet to launch your challenge?
Necessities include; the cost of flights for those joining me- my wife (who is a massage therapist), doctors, journalists (who will cover different parts of the run), the two vehicles which will be present throughout the challenge, as well as one that will be used for tracking. Everything else is purely logistical and material; food, equipment… for example, I will use about 30 pairs of joggers! So far we’ve collected 80% of the total amount, thanks to various sponsors. Anyone can support me from 200 Euro; the process is simple and can be done online.
We hope to reach the budget by Spring 2018. I aim to start my challenge at the Sydney Opera House in April or May 2018. This period is ideal in terms of climate because I’ll experience the most heat in the first states I go through.
Your sponsors for this race are, Anaid, Tuadal and Erwan de Dieuleveut, the three children of Philippe de Dieuleveut: famous host of ‘Chasse aux Trésors’. What led them to support you?
Philippe de Dieuleveut is a personality that I have always admired. He’s a kind of, ‘adventurer of the world’, with human values that I identify with a little. I recently learnt, he performed a show that premiered at the Sydney Opera House!
When I contacted his children and presented my project, they immediately loved the idea. They enthusiastically accepted the offer of becoming my sponsors. It has been their request that during the challenge, I dress in similar colours their father wore during ‘Chasse aux Trésors’.
You have been preparing for this challenge for a long time. Have you thought about what you will do after your Australian Challenge Tour?
Firstly, I’ll spend one more month in Australia. Among other things, diving in the Great Barrier Reef has been a life-long dream of mine… that will be my reward for all these efforts.
Eventually, I hope to open a family restaurant, it will be called, ‘Chez Forrest’, in reference to the film Forrest Gump. The interior will be decorated with souvenirs from my Australian Challenge Tour; the joggers I wore, a map, photographs… I will welcome customers and share my experience with them.
Ideally, I will write a book about my Australian adventure, which I have already done for my Aubagne-Athens race.
There will probably be future racing challenges, but I’m yet to know which ones – a tour of Africa, USA, Canada… for now, I’m concentrating on one thing: my Australian tour.
In anticipation of his departure, we wish Christophe all the best in his preparation.
Le Courrier Australien,will follow Christophe throughout his challenge, commencing in Sydney. You can support Christophe, by becoming a partner of his challenge. Find all the information on his website here.
French article by Karine Arguillère
Translated by Kiara Casey
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