Though my dream is in danger, nothing will stop me from my goal to swim, run, and pedal 17,000 kilometers.
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — My faithful partner is my bicycle.
Together, we have traversed the globe, celebrated victories, and breathed in the air atop wondrous mountains. I never feel alone in the company of my bike.
Chasing our fourth triathlon word record, we became stranded by the COVID-19 Pandemic in Vladivostok, Russia.
Though my dream is in danger, nothing will stop me from my goal to swim, run, and pedal 17,000 kilometers (10,563 miles).
I call this “Triathlon 360 Degrees,” and it is more than a competition against myself. I am using it to raise awareness about the importance of reducing the carbon footprint. Proceeds will support an NGO protecting the tropical jungle.
My journey started by pedaling and swimming from Europe to Asia. I will face 5,040 kilometers (3,131 miles) through North America until I reach New York for my next challenge. The final phase of my journey will cross the Atlantic Ocean, stopping over in Lisbon, Portugal, and ultimately reaching my destination in Munich, Germany.
My effort equates to 120 Ironman competitions.
Before this triathlon, my life was empty, and I needed to take a resounding turn.
I had broken other records. I traveled from Alaska to Argentina by bicycle in 97 days and from Norway to South Africa in 75 days. With each accomplished goal, happiness was followed by heartbreak and uncertainty.
I would think, a thousand times, about this project – about Triathlon 360. The challenges are incredibly significant, but my passion surpasses all my limits.
While the performance is 17,000 kilometers (10,563 miles), I must travel a total distance of 40,000 kilometers (24,854 miles) to complete this goal. I expect exhaustion, but I continue anyway.
On a cold morning in September 2020, I got on my bike in Munich, Germany, and headed out for Croatia.
Full of hope and bursting with emotion, I started pedaling in what, to this day, is the biggest challenge of my life.
The road to Croatia was easy. The routes were in good condition, and the people’s cheers as I passed through towns and cities were energizing.
The next step was to swim 456 kilometers (283 miles) along the coast towards Montenegro, the longest swim ever in the world.
I made it and, a few meters from the arrival, an incredible reception awaited. Players of the local water polo team hovered in the water to accompany me on the last stretch.
When I looked up, a crowd was watching; even the press was there with cameras flashing.
When I stepped onto solid ground, they poured champagne on me, marking the start of the festivities.
These are moments I will never forget.
When the time came to get back on the road, I was clear about my goal, and I knew nothing could distract me from my dream.
Back on the bike, I crossed Europe and Asia until I reached the Chinese coast.
I could feel the fresh air of the mountains with every pedal.
As I moved forward, passing from town to town, people stopped to say hi and brought me water and food.
Throughout the triathlon, countless people came to help me and encourage me. Without that support, it would have been much more difficult.
I know that wherever I go, I will always have people cheering me on. My family and friends are fundamental pillars of support. Despite the distance, technology allows them to be with me. Still, I miss them every day.
The pandemic paused my journey. Had it not, I would have continued on a sailboat that would take me across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco in the United States.
When the last leg of my triathlon brought me to Russia, my future became clouded.
I am currently going through my 34th week of crossing, and I am stranded in Vladivostok.
Winter freezes the country, and they relocated all the sailboats to Korea. With the added challenge of the pandemic, my stay is getting longer than expected.
My alternative option was to take a boat in the South, but now, it is impossible since Russia requires prior authorization to navigate.
When it seemed that the picture could not be worse, I realized that my visa was about to expire. For a moment, I thought, “I hope my dream is not shattered!”
I am not giving up. I spend my days looking for a way to cross the Ocean and fulfill my goal.
I am a person who believes in hopes and dreams. They are like the engine that powers me.
Against all odds, I maintain a firm conviction I will pass through the world on my triathlon without leaving a trace of carbon.
Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.
Pledge to be a #ConsciousCitizen today and demand #GlobalCooperationNow! by signing this petition. Sign Our Petition.