Extraordinary Humans

Humans achieving extraordinary things

Over the last couple of weeks, we have borne witness to several incredible feats of endurance and it brings home to us just how extraordinary humans are!

Close to home, we were so pleased to follow ICC team member Sarah as she completed an iron-distance triathlon after months of discipline, consistent effort, and training.

Further afield, American ultra-runner Courtney Dauwalter smashed the Western States Endurance Race female record by 1 hour 18 minutes, running 100 miles in an incredible 15 hours 29 minutes.

In the Australia Backyard Ultra Run (6.7km loops every hour for as long as possible), Phil Gore broke the world record, completing 102 laps which equates to 683km over 102 hours (the previous record stood at 75 laps). Both 2nd and 3rd finishers broke National records.

Our man Sean Conway (who we’ve celebrated in a previous article) has made it to day 82 of his #iron102 challenge. He aims to complete 102 consecutive iron-distance triathlons, and Kenton was able to share some running miles with him on day 75. He’s getting stronger by the day and we are simply in awe of the discipline, effort and determination showcased by Sean!

And Neil Russell and Katy (see their story here) are on the last day of their run from London to Barcelona, aiming to arrive at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Barcelona at 2pm today!

In lieu of speaking to the pros, we asked ICC’s very own ‘extraordinary human’ about her endeavours at the Ultimate Triathlon in Shropshire…

ICC: What motivated you to sign up to the Ultimate Triathlon?

Sarah: I completed Ironman UK 10 years ago and I always thought that I’d like to do another one. I joined some friends on some of their triathlon training rides last year and it re-ignited a flame inside me. The timing was right and I decided to go for it!

ICC: Tell us how you prepared for the race

Sarah: I decided that I wanted to be really consistent with my training. I’m a fan of morning sessions, so I got into the habit of doing at least an hour’s exercise before work every day and often I would do another session in the evening too. Unlike 10 years ago, this time I built regular strength and conditioning work into my programme and never missed a session. I’m sure that gave me a really strong base and prevented any injuries in the long build up.

ICC: What were your goals going into the race?

Sarah: Ideally I wanted to beat my previous time (despite being 10 years older!) and I wanted to enjoy it as much as possible.

ICC: How did the day play out?

Sarah: The start claxon went off at 6.35am on Sunday. I absolutely loved the lake swim – the water was warm and calm – and it settled my nerves. I was second female coming out of the swim which gave me a boost and earnt some high-fives! The bike was a 4-lap, fairly picturesque course but the roads got busier as the day went on. By lap 4, there was a lot of traffic about and the mother of all thunderstorms passed through, making the roads treacherous and incentivising me to get off my bike as quickly as possible! I made it onto the run course by 3pm and that’s when things got tough. I hadn’t eaten enough on the bike and I was lacking energy. I ran as much as possible but walked more than I’d hoped. The key was to keep putting one foot in front of the other. After 14 hours 3 minutes of racing, I finally crossed the finish line! Sixth female and a 30-minute PB.

ICC: What is your overriding takeaway from the day?

Sarah: The power of support cannot be underestimated. My long-suffering boyfriend, my family and a few friends came along to support and they commandeered F1-style pit stops on the bike leg and popped up all over the run leg to jog with me, offer me food, listen to me grumbling, and give encouragement and high-fives. These feats are never an individual effort – they are completed with the help of the team around us – and that shone through on Sunday. A huge thank you to all supporters, including all the wonderful messages I received from friends near and far, they mean so much!

Well done Sarah. We hope you enjoy a well-earned rest over the summer!

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