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Thought for the weekend: The ultimate triathlon man

Published 20/06/2015

I've just watched a trailer for a special documentary programme that will be showing next Thursday at 9pm on the Discovery Channel.

It's called Sean Conway: Running Britain and follows the exploits of the man himself who recently did a 1,000 mile run from John O'Groats to Land's End, starting on March 21 and finishing on May 3 - the equivalent of 38 consecutive marathons

As if that wasn't remarkable enough, this was the third such journey he's made. In April 2008, he cycled 1,300 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats. From June 30, 2013 he swam 900 miles between the same points via the west coast of Britain, spending 90 days of the 135 total in the water, enduring some grim conditions and having to grow a thick beard to ward off the stings from jellyfish.

When he finished his recent run, totally unsupported, carrying his own kit, including a tent, he had become the first man to complete the ultimate British triathlon.

In 2012, he set out to cycle right round the world and was making good progress, clocking up 180 miles a day. However, in America he was struck by a driver and suffered serious injuries, but, undaunted, continued his ride at the reduced rate of 140 miles a day.

When he made it back to London, he'd covered 16,000 miles, the last 12,000 of which he cycled with a fractured spine. Sean was born and bred in Harare, Zimbabwe, and lived for the great outdoors, where his father is a ranger protecting endangered rhinos.

He came to the UK in 2002 with just £100 to his name and started working in Cambridge cutting cabbages, while pursuing a career in photography. But the lure of endurance adventures was too much to resist and his life since then has become the stuff of legends.

I like his daring, unconventional, nonconformist spirit and leave you with this quote from his blog: "Adventure isn't all about climbing mountains or rowing oceans. Adventure, in its purest form, is simply a way of thinking." Talk about attitude.

Belfast Telegraph

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