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Round-the-world cyclist Sean Conway completes unique end-to-end triathlon

Riding, swimming and running the length of Great Britain

Madman Adventurer Sean Conway has completed a unique 'triathlon', making his between Land's End and John O'Groats by bike, via the sea and on foot.

Conway arrived in Land's End yesterday after running 1,000 miles from John O'Groats and so became the first person to complete what he's dubbed the Ultimate British Triathlon.

In 2008, he completed the first leg of the triple when he rode the scenic 1,300-mile end to end route in 25 days.

Bitten by the distance cycling bug, he entered the first round-the-world race, the 2012  World Cycle Racing Grand Tour, but was hit from behind by a truck in Arkansas.

Conway was lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries and after recovering and completing his circumnavigation he tackled perhaps the most bonkers leg: swimming from Land's End to John O'Groats.

That journey took four months and by the end his jaw was so cold because of the water temperature that he was only able to eat pureed food.

He elected to do the run unsupported, carrying a tent and stopping for food at cafes and pubs — when he could find them.

“I didn’t appreciate how much harder it would be to do the challenge unsupported,” he told The Mirror.

“Last night I finished at 10pm and the campsite I was aiming for was no longer there, so I had to sleep rough.

"I’ve also been struggling to find food. I passed five pubs yesterday but they were all closed.

"The extra miles have really taken their toll. There is a big difference between running a 26-mile marathon and running 40 miles. You need an extra three meals and more water, which can all be hard to find, and the days are really long.”

The 34-year-old has literally and figuratively come a long was since arriving in the UK from Zimbabwe with £100 in his pocket in 2002.

He cut cabbages in Cambridge to pay the bills while launching a career as a photographer. That first end-to-end trip was a holiday.

“I originally decided to cycle the length of Britain because I had no money for a holiday and I thought it would be a good way to see the countryside,” he said.

“It took 25 days and I had an amazing adventure. Then I was looking for another challenge and discovered that no one had swum from Land’s End to John O’Groats, so I gave it a go and it’s probably the hardest thing I have ever done.

“It made sense to then complete the triathlon by running the distance too. I’ve never run a race or marathon before so it is a new challenge.”

After arriving at Lands End yesterday morning, Conway posted on his Facebook page: "So there we have it. My Ultimate British Triathlon is complete. What an incredible few years.

"Thank you to every person who bought me a pint, gave me directions or waved at me as I went past.

"One thing is for sure. This is one hell of a beautiful island we live on. Keep adventuring everyone."

In case you're wondering what effect a 40-day run has on your body, Conway posted this image to his Facebook page.

(All images ©Sean Conway)

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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Cheesyclimber | 9 years ago

All this on top of starring in the James Bond films. What a legend.

Timsen | 9 years ago

fantastic achievement & interesting photo ...... not a look I will be seeking to emulate anytime soon !

Airzound | 9 years ago

He needs a haircut and to lose that birds nest on his face.

Apart from this he is nutz.

BearstedCC | 9 years ago

Very Well Done... Brilliant Achievement...

crikey | 9 years ago

In the sea.

darrenleroy | 9 years ago

How did he swim from Ireland to Wales?

notfastenough | 9 years ago

Swimming for so long that he could only eat pureed food? That is mental. Would his jaw not thaw out overnight?!

billsdon | 9 years ago

Someone please give that man a good meal!  35

ragtag | 9 years ago


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