Swimmers recreate 'Monte-Cristo' feat at southern French sea race

This sea race is inspired by the 1844 novel 'The Count of Monte Cristo'

About 200 swimmers jumped into the Mediterranean

to take part in the challenge

(SOUNDBITE) (French) SWIMMER, ARA KHATCHADOURIAN, SAYING:"I've prepared for two months, by swimming every day, by working out, cycling of course, rowing and all that, to prepare for this race. I wanted to do the whole race, 9 races in total."

It was inspired by the escape of Edmond Dantes

Participants must swim 3 miles

from the French island of If to the Grand Roucas Blanc beach

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FOUNDER AND ORGANISER, DOMINIQUE LENA, SAYING:"Ideal conditions for this race this morning, as you can see behind me, the water is calm, relatively comfortable water temperature for the swimmers. We started the first wave at 8 this morning, people were of course happy about that, because it's been, for some, the first time in several months that they've been able to set foot in the sea, maybe in a swimming pool, but not that long ago either, because swimming pools were reopened not long ago. So, superb conditions, very happy."

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