top of page


Cape Town

A few months ago, Nicolas Remires asked me if I was available to come to South Africa for a Swimrun Event. For sure when someone asks me to travel for swimrun I would definitely say YES, but I can't always be available because of my job as a teacher. It is not easy to go on a long trip only during the weekend (the only time I have free with also specific dates of holidays schools): so before I could say YES to Nico I had to check if it was possible to travel to South Africa from Thursday to Monday. A very short time for 25 hours of flight, you would say, but for me it was enough to be able to do the race with Nico, enjoy the place and meet local people without even taking any days off work! It was possible: I found flights that worked well with my work schedule so, I didn't lose any time before saying yes to Nico!

When Nico asked me this summer he forgot to mention the fact that in Cape Town the water is cold... not cold, VERY cold! And the biggest problem is that the air is also quite cold even if November marks the beginning of the summer season. This scared me a bit especially knowing that the swim sections are long (almost 1k and the longest one 1.3k). Last but not least... the race takes place along the Atlantic coast... what about sharks? In the past I heard a lot of shark attacks in South Africa and they don't have nets that protects the beach, so they can be everywere. But when I asked to Richard Martin, the race organiser, he told me that this part was sure because the water is too cold and sharks don't have enough food to come (... nothing that completely reassured me!!)

However, the 17th of November I was on the plane to Cape Town ready to rock these big waves with Nico and to fight the cold! I arrived in Cape Town on Friday morning after 13 hours of flight with a quick stop in Istanbul.

What a beautiful place! Warren, a local athlete, picked me up at the airport and showed me the sourronding of the city. We headed to Sea Point, just under Lion's Head Mountain in Cape Town, where Nico was waiting for me and where the race takes place.

We went to get a quick bite and then went directly to explore the race course. Warren was a perfect guide, he showed us the whole course and gave us a lot of information about the currents and the technicity of trails.

Honestly, at that moment I was unsure of the kind of wetsuit to wear the day of the race. It is not easy to swim 1/1.3 km in 10-degree water: you spend a lot of time in the water and your body loses energy without being able to warm up during the short running sections.

So it is important to pay attention to that but especially to compare the water temperature to the air temperature. The race start was at 7am which means it is not hot outside and we maybe wouldn't see the sun until the finish of the race. Because of this I made the decision to wear long sleeves and a warm wetsuit with a top under it. I made the right choice because the day of the race was not warm!

The start was pretty hard, the guys sprinted in the first long up hill and they got to the water before us. The entry of the first swim was really difficult... The strength of the waves surprised me and I I was scared of not being able to pass this wall of waves but in the end I did it and we managed to swim this first adventurous swim very well.

We had a strong wind since the beginning of the race that made all the more exposed swim sections difficult. What conditions!

Honestly, swimming in these conditions was not easy. The water was cold and the swim sections were pretty long, about 1km and more. Few years ago I would have been scared, I’m really happy about my personal progress in this discipline! The trails were technical in a few points of the race. The rocks on the cost were very slippery, it was really hard to be fast on them. Nico fell once, and hit his back really hard when getting down to the water. He was OK, but he scared m

We fought hard all along the course, trying to catch up with the young swimmers, so impressed by them! We finished second in a very exciting sprint! We didn't use the rope in all the swim sections, we only used it during the road run sections so Nico could help me a bit. We made a mistake in the last swim because we didn't have the time to take off the rope, so we swam with it and it was a mess. With these kinds of conditions (a lot of waves) and the fact that our level is similar, we swam poorly and lost the chance to pass the guys. The funny thing is that because of the rope I fell down coming out of the water and lost my right paddle... I was so disappointed.. So after the race I started looking for it in the water by the beach. All the people started telling me that it was impossible to find it but I didn't give up: I'm very attached to my super paddles!

After the race we signed up for the world record swimming in cold water (the goal was to stay inside for 3 min without wetsuit together with more than 300 people). When I got in the water for the challenge, I started looking for my paddles. I saw it looking down under the water in the sand! I was so happy and our friends where really surprised that I found it!

Thank you Nicolas for your trust, it is a big achievement for me to have raced with you. You taught me so many things in these last couple of years and I would never have thought to be able one day to race with you! 🫶🏼 We did a super team work!

A big thank you to Richard Martin for your amazing job organising this race, keep it going! Your race has big potential to help grow this sport: I never seen so many young people fighting hard in these conditions! That’s great!😍

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page