An interview with the AQUATICRUNNER champion!
Jessica Galleani is a strong Italian master swimmer, mother and for the past four years, an enthusiastic Swimrunner with great results!
Many athletes are becoming curious about the world of Swimrun, a sport that combines open water swimming and trail running to create a dynamic, fun sport. We would like to know how you started and where you participated in your first race?
In 2015, when Italy was not aware of the existence of this discipline, I was training in the swimming pool every day and sometimes running with a friend of mine. He was always searching for a new sport to challenge himself, and one day he described a sort of 'obscure' discipline to me, mixing together trail running and swimming. At the time, the rules of the sport were not clear at all. A unique race was taking place close by in the summer in Marano Lagoon. In the end, we decided to participate, and the mentioned race was the very first edition of Aquaticrunner, and my first individual swimrun race!
We saw your results in this race! It’s clear you haven’t stopped practicing this sport since 2015! How do you grow into a #HEADhero?
I started swimming when I was four years old. At six, I started preparing for competitions which I did until I started university. I then stopped until my first daughter was born. It wasn’t easy to start again at all. My motivations were quite simple: to get in to shape again after a long period of stopping and to feel better, trying to dedicate some spare time to myself, practising my favourite sport. After a while, I participated in a race just for fun, to give me a reason to keep on training. It was great challenging my limits again!
Swimrun was born in the cold waters of the Stockholm archipelago and rapidly spread all over Europe and the World. This year, HEAD even sponsored a Swimrun race in Japan! How is Swimrun in Italy according to your experience? And in your region? Do you train and race in teams or individually?
The Swimrun evolution is visible in Italy too, and we can easily find different races, offering distances that suit all training levels, in particular beginners. They are also able to attract the attention of athletes searching for “extreme” experiences! I live near Lake Como, north of Milan, and in this region there are so many places to train that I suppose we'll find Swimrun races here soon too! My training level has improved a lot thanks to my Swimrun teammates and my life: Massimo Tagliaferri is a strong ultra-trail runner who sometimes trains with me! We participated in Swimrun Bologna in 2018, arriving in 3rd place, and this weekend we will fly to the Canary Islands for Swimrun Lanzarote.
How did your friendship with HEAD Swimming start? And what do you look for in your swimming and Swimrun equipment?
HEAD means technical, top quality equipment for a swimmer in a really beautiful, very Italian style! From the Swimrun side, there is nothing which compares at the moment. In this discipline, training is the basis for participating, but at a very high level, materials as well as fitting could make a difference to the results. Moreover, it’s so important to get equipment designed for women’s body shapes, respecting female needs. I feel good with HEAD’s myBOOST equipment, and I need to add that I’m still making adjustments, getting the best from this wetsuit, personalizing it all the time according to my training needs and the environmental conditions.
So, Swimrun Lanzarote is quite far from Como! Was it difficult to organise this trip? Which wetsuit have you decided to use?
I can’t wait anymore! I have dreamt of this trip to Lanzarote and swimrunning there! I’m sure it will be amazing running on volcanic land and swimming in the ocean! Wow, have you seen the colour of the water in past editions? I saw the images, and after 5 minutes I had booked my flight and room, it’s all so easy in the link of the race! I’m well trained in swimming and running, plus I’ll use my light, sleeveless neoprene myBOOST to support my buoyancy as well as give me freedom of movement – great for running 34 km!
Could you share a fun experience you had while practising Swimrun with us?
Now, all my friends and sporty people I have met know something about Swimrun, but it is so amusing meeting astonished faces when we train close to my house. People can’t believe it when they’re watching us, running with our wetsuits, silicone or neoprene caps and goggles! It’s too funny!