A typical day for us is very simple : We wake up with the sun, (so we don’t wake up to early), we have a big fruit salad for breakfast with the amazing Banana from Canary Island and a spanish lesson, we go for Bike or Run, then a huge salad for lunch, we watch an english movie to relax. In the afternoon we go for a water sport, surfski or SUP, after that we pass to the fruits and veggies market to refill the stock, I do the diner and mimi keep in touch with all the news from the world of Facebook, we write 2-3 emails and best moment arrive : we go for a long night ! It is very basic day but we like that and Tenerife is perfect for that kind of life style, that’s why we are now Canarian in the heart !
We really like to practice many sports and i think this is our special point and apparently it works well.
Some time we like to do some bike trip in different countries which is an amazing way of training for non stop race but also to discover the world.
How do you prepare yourself for a race all along the year?
We are doing the kind of training if it is for a non stop race or stage race like in China, New zealand or Australia.
For Non stop race we are doing mostly long training, just to be use of long section on the same activity. For stage race, we are doing more intensity training to step up our average speed.
To combine both kind of training it is interesting to be never bored.
– What is the best experience you can remember from an adventure race?
I remember one time in spain we have chosen to cross a lake by night instead of doing a huge loop. We swam naked in a very cold water and one teamate was swearing during all the swim. The situation was difficult for our body but this guy have transformed the situation in an hilarious moment !!
– What was the hardest moment?
I could say the same story as above …
But i have an other to say, because adventure race it a lot of good moments but also a lot of “not so fun experience”.
For my first Adventure race world champ (in France, 2005) i was selected in a team to compete, i have trained so much because i was a little bit afraid by the size of the race and also because i didn’t want to disappoint my experimented team mate. After the fourth day i had a tendinitis, the first big in my life and the captain had pulled out for me. It was very difficult for me in my mind. I thanks a lot my team mate because they were so friendly with me and they have done there maximum for me.
– How do you think the adventure racing world has evolved ? Which direction should the adventure racing take in your opinion”
Since few years the ARWC circuit try to become more professional in their organization, which is great for the racer, the media, the sport.
At the same time, those races become more a commercial project. I have nothing against this point because many other sports have evolved like that and they are really big now, i think about endurance sport like Xterra, Ironman, for example.
In adventure race, the point is in my mind we miss some visibilities to develop our sport and by the way have more sponsor.
It is a very tricky subject because it difficult to combine a race which is design for top athletes and for athletes who come for an experience, an extraordinary adventure, and same time for the media.
So my opinion would be to push adventure race in a way more professional to grow the sport and be more visible, and forget a the start the fact to be the sport too hard, always more and extreme just the time to be a sport more famous. Because at this moment, our sport afraid many normal people!!!
– On our website, there are many reports about women’s participation in the world of adventure. What can you tell about other woman participants that you have met?
It is a long time i am racing with Mimi, we are leaving 24/7 together. She is not perfect, she also have some bad moment, sometimes she’s grumpy but we are all like that.
What i want to say, i love to race with her because she is my wife and we are on the same way of thinking but she is a team mate like the other one in the team. All the time, people ask about the different of the man and woman. In my mind there is no different, in the team we are just team mate. All the athletes have there positive and negative points and we have to deal with to build the team. I think it is an error to think we have to be more carefull about a team mate because she is a girl. During the race we have to be careful about the team mate who is in difficulty and it is not always the girl.
It is like that when you start adventure race because the girl are called at the last minute to complete the team. Some team look for a woman like they look for a part of the mandatory equipment. in that way it is sure the girl will be different by many points with the other team mate and it is very easy to understand. If you check all the team in the lead, they have built a team for many years and during the race, the woman is an athlete like the 3 other “male” !
Some girl carry the backpack of there team mate, some pull on the bike, other are steering the boat ….
So i can say a lot about my previous “woman team mate” like i can say a lot of thing about my previous team mate. I can say in my first team “lafuma”, our woman was like my mum and it was so cool because i had so much to learn about adventure race. Anyway, i really like to have good relation with my team mate and it is the same if it’s a man or a woman.
Just to close this chapter, i can say we have to be a bite more careful with our girl because they are more emotional, they need more attention than a guy!
– If case you had to organize an adventure race, what would you do to let participants to enjoy the race?
If i had to organize a race and if i could organize my dreaming race, it will be with a lot of various sport, not only the Bike-trek-kayak. I would love to have in line skate, SUP, speleo, canyoning, rafting, bike and run, lot of ropes activity, Surfski instead of heavy and not fun plastic kayak. I will try to avoid all the boring section like running on the road for ages if we can ride, run over the mountain instead of carrying bikes for ever.
I know it would be very tricky to set up a race like that but it would be my vision of Multisport Adventure race.
In march we will participate to an adventure race ” Raid Club Victoria Las Palmas de Gran Canaria “ which looks very similar as my dreaming race but i will tell you my feeling after the race …
How can we achieve a broader dissemination of the event?
When i am at home and i follow a race on my computer i am always frustrated by the information i see. I know it is a hard job for journalist to follow a team, to know where they are. My brother is very involved in adventure race but on the filming side. He is working on Raid In France following some team on long section. So when i am at home i would like to see some short video about the inside race. The same information you have on facebook, 10 to 30 seconds video but all the race long not just sometimes. I don’t care about the quality, even a video with good phone would be enough or a photo with a short comment. So this could be done during section or at check point where there is a poor volunteer, who is frozen in his tent with nothing to do, just writing your bib number. Now everybody has got a phone to film his dog falling from the chair, his gran mum eating a cake without teeth … so it would be not a big deal to have more information about the teams.
When i am behind my computer and it is night time or rain weather on the race, i feel like the race is off, and most off the time i stop following the race. To grow the interest of our sport we need to feed the follower with a lot of informations. A 6 days non stop race with 50 teams must be a mountain of information to share with the public.
– What do you think is the reason underlying the gap between these top-teams and the rest?
It is very easy to understand.
The top teams are training a lot, they prepare and think there gear for long time, they have experience which is a huge different, they race for the victory and not just to visit a nice country, in fact it is two different world.
Most of athlete who are in the top teams, they live adventure race, they are dedicate to their sport.
Also, there are some teams at the AR World Champ who participate because it is in there country, because it is a challenge to finish the race, some have no idea about the difficuty. On the other hand, there is team who come to win the race or do a good ranking.
Imagine just one second if there is a team of Football who particpate because it is their country. What do you think will be the gap if the world champ of soccer (German national team) will play against a team of very good friends from a small village middle of Australia, who train 2 time a week after work ? It is a bite exaggerated but everybody will understand my thinking.
-Maybe it is too soon, but in which races we will be able to see you this year.
It is not too soon to ask, we have plan to go to China to participate at the most well organize stage race.
We will do also many race in Canary Island where we spend a lot of time now and where we are building a training center. So if you want to see us, you are welcome to visit us and you will see what is our idea of adventure sport !
In fact, we really like non stop race but the budget is huge, we have spent too much money in that, the last few years and it is so difficult to find sponsors. So for the moment we take a step back to see where go Adventure race.
With Mimi, we are leaving adventure race, we are passionated, maybe too much. We will continue to do some amazing race but in different world, for example our next project is a huge road bike race in China, Chengdu to Lhasa, 2160km, a crazy amount of elevation, non stop, self sufficient, some pass at 5000m, meeting with local people, amazing scenery in perspective ….
Are you going to participate in the organization of any races or related events?
I have organized some event in the past and i know it is a huge job, for the moment we are athletes and not organizer.
But, we are helping Haute Maurienne Vanoise to set up a race in there place for 2016, we are just the course designer, so be prepare for a fun race !
For sure if someone ask us to help to organize a race, we will be happy to share our experience, idea and passion.