In Sydney on Saturday January 28, 2017 a couple embarked on what some might say was an impossible adventure as they attempt to break the iron distance and half iron distance triathlon world records for the most consecutive days completing the distances. Fast forward 19 days and Deb Hazelden has completed 19 half iron distance triathlons. Her partner John Mergler started out on a quest to complete 100 iron distance triathlons in 100 days. Day 7 threw a curveball with the first niggle hitting John hard. His adductor tendon has since caused all sorts of trouble.
This Adductor Tendon issue has thrown a spanner in the works but John has decided to rest and get it fixed before restarting his quest. There are two goals in this adventure. One is to beat the world record of 41 consecutive iron distance triathlons by achieving 42. Frenchman Ludovic Chorgnon completed his run in 2015. The next goal is to continue towards the original goal of 100. Regardless of his eventual tally he will have achieved some pretty amazing feats of human endurance along the way.
We have caught up with the Iron couple a few times at the pool to offer some moral swim support. John had been preferring to swim on his own with no one around but after being paced by friend Lala the day he found that this helped and Lala. No different than a normal race.
John has been cruising through his 3.8kms at a steady 1:45 pace and is turning his arms over continuously while waiting for his Adductor to clear up.
Things are back on track for John with day 18 & 19 seeing him complete two consecutive iron distance triathlons.
Before the swim on day 8 we chatted about how things were going. The two big issues for John were a severe lack of sleep and his Adductor tendon which had become inflamed the day before. It sounded like he thought that he had slightly pushed things on the bike beyond where he should have been and this has caused the Adductor issue. Both John and Debi have gotten through the initial mental games when the mind starts to question what it has got itself in to.
Debi is now in a rhythm and is continually cranking through her days and is Miss Consistant. Having previously completed and Ultraman, Evertesting and also posted some impressive ironman results with a 2nd in 30-34 at the 2014 Ironman Cairns and a 5:13 bike followed by a 3:43 marathon.
John Mergler is no stranger to the iron distance triathlons with over 70 to his name from memory and has also completed Ultraman amongst other feats of endurance. My first meeting with John was when he and three mates (including Todd Israel) where training together for Kona and decided to add a bit of fun and adventure in with a single day 360km ride around Centennial Park in Sydney followed soon after byt a ride from Sydney to Canberra and back over a long weekend with a marathon or a 60km ultra marathon while in Canberra.
The injury seems to have cleared up and we will catch up with John and Debi over the next few days to see how they are going.
In the mean time you can follow them by clicking one of the links below.