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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)

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.