Triathlons come in 3 standard sizes: “Sprint,” which features a 750-meter swim, 20-km bike ride and 5-km run, “Intermediate” or “Olympic,” which features a 1.5-km swim, 40-km ride and 10-km run, and the grueling Ironman which features a 3.9-km swim, 180-km bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon run.
All those triathlons pale in comparison to the arch-to-arc “Enduroman” triathlon, which was completed by 35-year-old British athlete Mark Bayliss on September 8.
It’s called an arch-to-arc triathlon for a reason. The route begins at the Marble Arch in London and finishes at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Only 11 people have ever completed the course, which features a jaw-dropping set of distances along the race’s 3 stages:
An 87-mile run from London to Dover, which Bayliss completed in 26 hours and 20 minutes.
A 21-mile swim across the English Channel from Dover to Calais, completed by Bayliss (without a wetsuit) in 11 hours 48 minutes.
A 181-mile bike ride from Calais to Paris, which Bayliss completed in 18 hours 9 minutes.
In total, Bayliss ran, swam and cycled 289-miles course, resting in between each stage; Bayliss had to wait nearly 14 hours for the tides to be right between running and swimming, and he rested for more than 3 hours after swimming before transitioning to his bicycle. In total, he spent 73 hours 39 minutes and 12 seconds on the course, a time many humans would be happy with for an Ironman.