Christophe Vissant, a Frenchman from near Marseille is going to come to Australia in October to undertake an unbelievable challenge – run around Australia by doing the equivalent of two marathons each day (84 kilometres per day) over 180 days and without a rest day. We spoke to him about this challenge before he leaves France later this week.
At the end of this month, you are coming to Australia to run around its coast over 180 days. Are you crazy?!
Absolutely not, just privileged to be able to run so many kilometres around Australia like my previous challenges.
We consider that it is impossible to run so many kilometres because we have in our head that running is FAST, FAST, always FAST.
Me on the contrary, I run slowly but for a longtime, a very longtime and I am in harmony with my body and my spirit and with the flora and fauna and the people that we meet around the world.
We all have the tendency to believe that many things are impossible because our society prevents us from overcoming it. The human spirit is exceptional, you just need to want something to be able to make it happen.
You survived a diving accident from which the Doctors weren’t sure that you were going to be able to walk again. Tell us about that.
MY LITTLE STORY:
A second birth. April 2003 in SHARM EL SHEIKH in Egypt
I could have seen Australia by travelling by plane like everyone else but I would have betrayed the promised that I made to a sea turtle in 2003 in the Red Sea, where I was the victim of a terrible decompression accident.
I spent a whole week in a hyperbaric chamber. The Doctors’ prognosis was not reassuring. If the small nitrogen bubble stuck in my inner ear travelled towards my brain, they envisaged hemiplegia or at worse, tetraplegia.
In my dreams, between delirium and pain, this famous sea turtle that crossed my path a few minutes before my accident whispers over and over “If you really believe in your dream, it will come true.”
Since then I regained use of my legs. Since then, I haven’t stopped running after my dream, to run around Australia and run to the Great Barrier Reef.
Have you always run?
No absolutely not, I even hated running because I was a footballer and when you’re a footballer, you prefer to dribble, kick goals, juggle but not run.
Is your family going to come to Australia with you?
Yes my daughter Marie is taking care of all communication and she will be with me for the first three months and the last. Then, of course, at the finishing line, everyone will meet up with me.
Australia is a myth, a dream, a legendary place. It’s the largest island in the word, country of excess, this “island continent” offers striking disparate landscapes, between ultramodern mega cities and wild country where the pioneer spirit reigns.
It’s been my dream since I was little.
I have travelled the world a lot, but each time that I wanted to go to Australia it didn’t happen, either I didn’t want to go on a well-oiled, organised tour, without any surprises for fear of being disappointed. Exploring the country by running is a unique chance to discover this continent, its people, its culture, its flora and fauna.
You can follow my progress day by day on the website and social media, thanks to the latest drone technology, exceptional images will allow the discovery of an infinite number of marvels in a magnificent settling combining the beauty of this continent with the mysteries of her immensity.
You’re going to run the equivalent of 2 marathons each day for 180 days without a day of rest. How are you going to take care to not get sick?!
No right to get sick because there is no rest day.
Not falling sick is very easy because of the assistance I will have with me, my 4 followers will whisper to me to change when it rains or when the conditions are bad and especially to do everything in their power to make sure I recuperate in the best conditions. Their role is essential.
Without them, I wouldn’t get there, a solo race for a team victory. I will also be followed by my sports Dr at distance and on site.
Do you realise that you are going to take this on during our Summer months!?
Yes!!! But at least, I will avoid some of the difficulties of the Northern Territory (heavy rain) I know what to expect of the tropical climate. Fortunately, I live by Marseille, so I know heat and heatwaves. That doesn’t mean that I won’t have to be careful with flies and my biggest danger snakes, kangaroos, spiders, etc.
What do you do in life apart from running?
I run after sponsors!!
I am a postal worker, I train postmen and I also lead conferences in excelling yourself.
I also enjoy my beautiful region of the Mediterranean.
Do you have a team here?
Yes the Embassy in Canberra is mobilised, and I have partners in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane. I will often be welcomed by bilingual school groups or musicians to host me in the Australian capital cities.
You can follow Christophe Vissant’s adventure live on the website https://www.australianchallengetour.com/ He will start his challenge leaving from the Sydney Opera House on 15 October.