You don’t have to look very far to find men and women doing some extraordinary things.
You may think that attempting 7 ironman distance triathlons in 7 consecutive days is pretty adventurous and you’d be right, it is. But, look around. People are doing amazing things every other week. As a nation we seem to have a renewed appetite for exercise. Triathlon, running and cycling are growing in popularity as participant sports. In fact, triathlon is the fastest growing participant sport in the UK at the moment. Once considered to be the sport for the elite and wealthy, triathlon is now attracting people from all walks of life and amateur athletes, with 12 weeks training are mostly able to complete a sprint distance event.
So, perhaps it’s not too surprising to find that some of us are looking to push ourselves further to see what the mind and body can achieve. Over the last 18 months I have discovered other people setting out on extreme endurance challenges and I have been inspired in some way by their adventures and I hope you will be inspired by them too.
1. Who? Peter Bowker. What? 65 Degrees North
In May 2015 Peter Bowker, an amputee from the recent conflict in Afghanistan and the team at ‘65 Degrees North’ will set out to record the world’s first unsupported crossing of the Greenland ice cap by an amputee.
‘65 Degrees North’ must pit their resolve and steadfast determination as they rely on fitness and mental grit to overcome the fearsome environment of the Greenland ice cap, its temperatures of -37°c, the threat of fatigue and resident polar bears. This is one challenge that we should really all follow. This will be a show of grit, determination and teamwork on a huge scale.
2. Who? Kevin Carr. What? HardWayRound
If you’re training for a marathon and it gets tough then spare a thought for this chap and perhaps it will spur you on to run a little bit further. Kevin has just completed a mammoth loop around planet earth and is now the fastest man around the world and the first athlete to run a around the world self supported. This is an almost incomprehensible feat of endurance and a challenge that lasted 621 days and covered 26232.58 km (16,300 miles).
Anything I say here will fail to do the challenge any justice so head over to the website to read all about it.
3. Who? Sean Conway. What? Currently Running Britain
This man does not sit still unless it’s on a bike or a kayak perhaps. If he’s not climbing Kilimanjaro he’s probably cycling around the world! In 2014 Sean became the first person to swim from Lands End to John O’Groats. He had previously cycled the length of the country and he is currently running it. So, albeit a few years apart, Sean will have effectively done a triathlon of the UK when he finishes it.
Sean is one of the lucky few who makes a living out of being an adventurer and it is worth reading about his expoits either in his website or by buying one of his books such as ‘Hell and High Water’
4. Who? Adam Walker. What? Oceans 7
What do you do when your tired of selling toasters? You pack it all in and go and swim the English Channel, that’s what. Or at least that’s what Adam Walker did. Then, once he had completed that he set out to find 6 more dangerous channels to swim.
This guy battled with everything that the oceans had to throw at him including dangerous marine life, huge waves and freezing cold temperatures. He is 1 of only 5 to have completed all 7 (first ever Brit to do so) and the 2nd to do all swims at the first attempt. Adam is by far and away the UK’s top endurance swimmer. He no longer sells toasters and can be found teaching people to swim better and motivational speaking.
5. Who? Rob Young. What? MarathonManUK
You may think I’ve made a mistake when you read the numbers that follow. I haven’t. Last year Rob set out to run a marathon every single day for…370 days! Just imagine that. 26.2 miles a day, every day. Rob would often get up at 2:45am to run the distance before work as well as taking part in various organised marathon events.
He achieved his goal. On April 13th 2015 Rob completed his 370th marathon in 365 days and raised a huge amount for NSPCC, a charity close to Rob’s heart. The story of his own childhood does not make for pleasant reading but Rob lives the life of a hero and not a victim. A true inspiration to us all. “You can be whatever you want to be…just believe” – Rob Young
6. Who? Sophie Radcliffe. What? Challenge Sophie
It’s probably easier to tell you what Sophie hasn’t done rather than what she has. Most of what she does revolves around cycling, running, swimming and triathlon and whilst some of her challenges are massive – Alpine Coast to Coast – others are challenges that most people could get in to. That’s important because Sophie wants to show that ‘challenges in the great outdoors are accessible and achievable for everyone.’ Sophie’s list of events reads like a bucket list and you can go through the list and read more about the Alpes D’Huez cycle ride, the Alpine Coast to Coast and the 3 Peaks Challenge, to name but a few, on Sophie’s website.
Sophie is currently organising a supported cycle sportive from London to Paris, a ride she has done herself 6 times! The sportive in May of this year is open to all and more details can be found HERE
I’m on a bit of an adventure myself. In August 2015 I will be attempting to complete 7 ironman distance triathlons in 7 consecutive days from Lands End to John O’Groats – #7days7irons – You can read all about it HERE
Written and compiled by Jason Roberts (c) 2015 Originally appeared on www.7days7irons.com
Remember to pop your email address in the ‘Subscribe’ box for regular updates, articles, tips, advice and lots more.