“You want to hear something very funny?” giggles Myriam "Mimi" Guillot-Boisset. “My mother was a swim instructor, and you know how you never want to do what your parents do? Well, now she teases me about not taking her lessons, and I have to say ‘I know, I know, I was stupid.”
Mimi is the first to admit that swimming is not her strongest of the three XTERRA disciplines, but that hasn’t stopped her from climbing to the top of the XTERRA elite rankings.
Last year at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui where she finished 4th overall, her run time was the third fastest behind only the champ, Flora Duffy, and the runner-up Lesley Paterson. Her raw foot speed and technical skills on the mountain bike contributed to her 4th place ranking on the XTERRA Pan America Tour and 6th-place ranking on both the XTERRA Asia Pacific Tour and the XTERRA European Tour.
In 2016 Mimi won XTERRA Costa Rica and XTERRA Argentina on back-to-back weekends in March, and she almost pulled off a third win at XTERRA Mexico, where she was nosed-out for the win by American Suzie Snyder.
“I was second on the run and I had no idea were Suzie was. I didn’t see her until the end of the second lap on the last downhill trail when we only had 500-meters to go,” said Guillot-Boisset. "We finished together by a sprint and it was so exciting even if I couldn’t quite catch her.”
This fall and winter, Mimi took four months to focus on training at her home in Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands off West Africa where she lives with her husband Jacky Boisset. Each week, she trains for 25-30 hours, doing two workouts a day, combining running, swimming, and biking as well as yoga and stretching.
She has also doubled down on swimming and is looking forward to testing the waters in the 2017 XTERRA season. She has a swim coach (although its not her Mom) and she has upped her pool workouts to four times a week. Mimi admits, “It’s hard to jump on the podium with a slow swim.”
Often, she has to pass dozens of athletes on the mountain bike and swim sections in order to finish in her usual elite fashion. “Maui was hard,” she says. “The course was so muddy, and I had to pass packs of people. I love when it’s an adventure, but it took a lot of energy.”
Typically, Mimi has a great deal of energy, which she contributes to her raw, vegan diet.
“We used to be more normal,” she says, shielding her face to the morning sun that is now rising over her bright, eco-friendly home. “But I didn’t feel the way I wanted to feel. Jacky and I spent a lot of time in China and Australia and we adopted their simpler lifestyles. Now I can’t imagine living differently. It’ so easy and perfect.”
Mimi and her husband Jacky Boisset eat mostly fruits and vegetables. “We have one to 1.5 kilos of papaya for breakfast, then a kilo of bananas for lunch, and a big salad for dinner. We are entirely plant powered!”
She and her husband carefully track what they eat to ensure they get adequate protein and nutrition for their training. Their plan for the future is to launch a nutrition coaching service to share what she has learned about food to a wider audience.
“If you want to live simply, you need to eat simply. The beauty is that it’s natural and stronger for your body. Our goal isn’t to eat for racing but to eat for a good, long life.”
While many athletes eschew travel, it’s one of the things Mimi loves about XTERRA and the sport of triathlon in general.
“XTERRA is so good for the body because you are doing different sports and moving the body in different ways,” she says. “It’s also good for our head and our hearts. When we live in a small space, we can become isolated. XTERRA allows me to travel to different worlds and connect with people and life around me.”
Mimi’s athletic prowess will take her around the world this year from her home in Tenerife to XTERRA Malaysia, XTERRA Philippines, XTERRA Mexico, and races on the XTERRA European tour including Switzerland and France. And, you can be sure to see Mimi at the starting line at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui this December.
“I’m excited to be faster on the swim this year,” she says. “After two fourth place finishes in Maui, it will be a pleasure to jump up on the podium.”