Saturday, September 4, 2010

Declaration of the Double Deca-Ironman

The following announcement comes from world-ranked Deca-Ironman finisher Kua Harn Wei (who we interviewed some time ago):

After years of speculation, it is finally here. The International Ultra Triathlon Association (IUTA) brings back the Double Deca Ultra Triathlon. Yupe, you heard it right - 76km pool swim, 3600km bike ride and then 844km run.

Not a walk in the park, but well, it will be held in a park in Monterrey, Mexico, as usual. Biking and running will all be done on a 1.9km loop. I know many of you think that it is boring but, hey, this multi-looped challenge is PART of the game. It works your mental. Make or break, it always begins up there.

Nope, I won't be racing the double deca this year; maybe years later. But I am coaching an American ultra triathlete - Peter Lefferts - for the Double Deca this year. Pete finished the Deca in 2008.

This year's race will see great competition with reigning deca- (one-ironman-per-day format) world record holder cum 2009 World Cup champion Ferenc Szonyi in the lineup. There will also be a 'shorter' race going on at the same time - the deca. The deca world record (continuous format, in which one has to finish all the swim before the bike, etc.) may fall this year, as the lineup comprises of some of the very best ultra talents we have assembled in years for a single event. These guys have been training for months setting their sight on the most coveted ultra tri honor of all times - the deca world record (slightly over 8 days).

Stay tuned.
The phrase extreme sports conjures the perception and impression that it is highly dangerous. Yet, the risks involved may be no different than running after a bus or manipulating a shopping-cart. Extreme may mean highly challenging and physically demanding. Changing diapers for the untrained new father can be considered extreme.

As you can see, there is no limit to human imagination and the human will. If ultra-marathons are the test of running endurance, then consider the deca-Ironman it as part of the extreme triathlon menu. The world of ultra-distance endurance sports knows no bounds. Today, amateur athletes attempt long distance swims in the open sea, ultra-marathons, cycling tours and ultra-Ironman triathlons. Our predecessors (those privileged to go before us) pave the mental pathway for us to participate and partake in the seemingly impossible.

When does the madness end? I don’t think it will – not at least for the moment. As Albert Einstein said, ‘Great minds have always received violent opposition from mediocre ones.’ And, as a corollary, there may be no madness after all. Our body can quit on us but our will and spirit may resist.

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