Sport Other Sports Aussie ultra-triathlete breaks world record

Aussie ultra-triathlete breaks world record

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Melbourne athlete John van Wisse has smashed the world record of the Enduroman Arch to Arc ultra-triathlon, a tough challenge from London to Paris, after fighting atrocious conditions across the English Channel.

Van Wisse, clocked 61hrs 27min – 12hrs 12min inside Mark Bayliss’s 2012 world mark – when he arrived by bike at the Arc de Triomphe in the heart of Paris this morning (EST).

The Beaumaris swimming coach fought inclement weather, running much of his 140km marathon from London to Dover in the rain and then battling rough seas during his 33km treacherous English Channel crossing.

Van Wisse needed help to walk after swimming the channel and within hours, rode 290km from Calais to Paris.

Van Wisse said he was “absolutely rapt” to finish, as the challenge was fraught with danger.

“A lot can go wrong in this event. It’s a massive event and I’m glad it’s all panned out,” told Triple M after the event.

“I got lost – I actually ran an extra four or five kilometres. It was quite a hilly run and when I got home, I was as sick as a dog. I could barely get up the next morning.

“And the channel weather was terrible all week. I have to go in terrible conditions, I had no choice  … but I got through it somehow.”

Van Wisse’s sister and decorated marathon swimmer Tammy van Wisse, said her brother’s superhuman effort was a dream and the result of more than 25 years of hard training.

“I am incredibly proud beyond belief of my brother,” Tammy said, who has crossed the English Channel twice.

“It’s been a superhuman effort but he’s reached his dream and smashed the world record by almost half a day. I think his record will stand for many years to come.”

Tammy said van Wisse was in agony for most of the event.

“John said the ride was tough and he battled a headwind for a while, just to add to the agony of what was a tough few days,” Tammy said.

“He went off course in run and actually did an extra four kilometres. Also, at the end of the swim, the tide started to turn and he was a few 100 metres offshore but just wasn’t making any progress.

“John swam on the spot for 10 minutes before putting in a surge to get to Calais.”

Van Wisse had his fair share of dramas during the event, apart from the shocking weather conditions. His English Channel swim was delayed on the shores of Dover after authorities mistook him for an illegal immigrant.

Police and coast guards arrived near the White Cliffs of Dover to investigate van Wisse.

A policeman told van Wisse’s support team they had “intelligence” the marathon man was an illegal immigrant after witness reports saw him jumping off a boat.

The misunderstanding was laughed off and van Wisse started his rough English Channel crossing.

Van Wisse’s sponsor, Acquire Learning, helped make his dream possible by supporting the event.

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