The swim race in the Mediterranean Sea is one of the few sporting events that has not been canceled despite the coronavirus epidemic. Physical distances, wearing a mask, disinfection, the organizers' measures convinced the prefecture. The Monte-Cristo challenge in 2019 (GEORGES ROBERT / MAXPPP)
The prefecture of Bouches-du-Rhône assures us that the Monte-Cristo challenge does not present any particular health risk. The largest European open water swimming race, which links the Château d'If to the Prado beaches in Marseille, from September 11 to 13, takes place in the open air and the respect of barrier gestures is guaranteed by the organizers. 4,000 swimmers are expected for this 22nd edition which was to take place in June but has been postponed due to the coronavirus.
“We put time slots for people in relation to their bib number so that they arrive in small waves , explains Dominique Léna, the founder of the competition. Obviously, wearing a mask is compulsory in the village while queuing. on the quay, on the boats and on the Château d'If. We have a team of volunteers who will be on the quay of the castle to retrieve the masks before the swimmers jump into the water. “
Mandatory mask just out of the water
And once in the water, two top starts spaced one hour apart are scheduled for each race. Two waves of 400 swimmers will have to reach the beach. The hardest route is 5 km and at the finish, you will have to put on your mask and pass a few barriers before enjoying the relaxation area. ” There is a 'chill' area and a catering area next to it , says Lucas, the manager. There is a spacing of at least five feet between the squares and we also have terminals that distribute gel. . We have disinfectant sprays with which we will clean the furniture every day, just like our toilets which are disinfected every hour with a special product. “
The first swimmers arrived in spotting. A group of six people from the Le Mans swimming club. “There, we drove 1,000 kilometers to come here and with the hope of a podium,” said one of them. “We're super happy, can't wait to get started,” adds another swimmer from the team. “It feels good. We signed up in January, hoping to do a race in June,” said a swimmer from Le Mans. Everything fell apart a bit so we tried to get back into physical condition.
We may not be at the top, but in any case we are delighted to be able to practice again. A swimmer from Le Mansat franceinfo
“We are also starting to get a little used to these barrier gestures. We are going to put all of this into practice and hope that it will be a great event, a great celebration for everyone,” concludes the sportswoman. A beautiful celebration, a moment of freedom at sea. This is what the swimmers of Monte Cristo are finally waiting for.
The Monte Cristo challenge maintained despite the coronavirus: the report in Marseille by Mathilde Vinceneux –' —-'–