At 10.30am this morning, ultra distance athlete Mark Bayliss officially set off on the world’s ultimate triathlon – the Enduroman Arch to Arc. Starting from Marble Arch in London, the Arch to Arc involves a gruelling 87 mile run to Dover, a Channel swim from Dover to Calais and a punishing 181 mile bike ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe, Paris.
Only 10 athletes have ever completed the Arch to Arc. Mark Bayliss is aiming to complete the 300 mile challenge in World Record time, hopefully smashing Eddie Ette’s 2001 record of 81 hours and five minutes.
In a world first, Mark will also attempt to become the only athlete to complete the ultra distance triathlon without the use of a wetsuit for the Channel swim. Taking the wetsuit out of the equation, after such a long run, means Mark will face a physiological test none of the previous 10 Arch to Arc competitors have had to endure.
This is the first event in the inov-8TM Challenge Series, which will see committed athletes take on some of the toughest endurance events in the world.
Mark, brother of top UK Ironman Stephen, represented England at junior level in Water Polo and Great Britain at youth level in triathlon and duathlon. After a break from multisport, upon turning thirty, Mark started training again, this time for endurance events and in 2007 he swam the English Channel solo.
Since then he has competed in the Sri Chinmoy Lake Zurich Marathon Swim (26.4km) three times, raced two Ironman triathlons, 13 marathons and 10 ultras including the Marathon des Sables. The Arch to Arc #inov8challenge will be biggest physical test of his life.
Mark is hoping to raise as much money as possible for SportsAid to help young sportsmen and women to achieve their ambitions. SportsAid athletes won 47 medals at London 2012 Olympics including 20 golds. Go to http://www.justgiving.com/Mark-Bayliss0 to sponsor Mark or text (UK only) CFWC59 to 70070 with the amount you’d like to donate.
For all the latest news about the challenge visit http://markbayliss.wordpress.com