When Swimrun Academy met a World Paratriathlon Champion!

Our interview with Elise Marc and Jean-Christophe Bastiani​

This weekend will be a special occasion for athletes of the Swimrun and Triathlon World - the ÖtillÖ weekend in Cannes - where a special team will begin a wonderful adventure!

Jean-Christophe Bastiani​ and Elise Marc​ met a few months ago and will race together in a mixed team in the Sprint race with bib number #342 as part of the Swimrun-Academy powered by Head/Fondation.

They are both French, top-level athletes and met each other just a few months ago with one objective: to permit Elise, already a World Paratriathlon Champion, to have her first Swimrun race experience!

We caught up with them before the event...

How did you meet?

JC - At first we met virtually. I read a newspaper article talking about Elise's last adventure, and immediately after I wrote to her!

E - Four months ago, JC, a Swimrun ambassador in France, contacted me on social media to propose this crazy adventure, the idea of sharing a Swimrun race together. Until that day, I had never considered Swimrun.

JC - Swimrun-Academy tries to make the sport accessible to all, and in particular I was convinced that having this kind of experience with an elite Para-Triathlete would also be an opportunity for personal growth.

We discussed it for a while, and her coach said: “This guy is totally crazy but I like him, the date is not a problem in your race calendar so…go on!”

How did you manage to stir curiosity for Swimrun?

JC - Even if she is a triathlete, she was not convinced she could introduce this training and racing experience into her rich calendar, and was also worried about logistical issues, but my crazy attitude, and the joy that grows when I have the possibility of sharing this sport with friends, swept away her doubts.

E - Even if the sport seemed fun and interesting, I considered the logistical situation could be a limitation. I’m used to facing infrastructural limits every day, but in this case, at first sight, it seemed too much for my disability: multiple transitions from running to swimming with prostheses which are not hydrodynamic and are heavier than 4kg.

How do you face the different transitions of a swimrun?

JC - Good support is the key to success. Elise legs were amputated below the knee, and she exits the water during Triathlon by herself, but with Swimrun it's more complicated: there are many transitions and it’s not possible to swim with her prosthesis.

E - With enthusiasm! We discussed the feasibility of the project to find an event which was both "accessible" and compatible with our agendas. We organised assistance regarding the transportation of my prosthesis between water exits, and negotiated with the organizers of the event regarding this.

Your impressions before race day ?

E - It's a week before my jump into this adventure in Cannes, I’m excited like never before! Rather than rushing, I'm jumping in to this beside JC, with HEAD colours!