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Triathlon in the Guinness World Records

Triathlon Magazine Canada looks at some of the triathlon achievements that appear in the Guinness World Records ... and a few that don't.

John Wragg’s name might not appear in the Guinness World Records, but we know that he’s done more full-distance races than anyone else on the planet.

This weekend, at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Melvin Nyairo became the fastest person ever to do a half marathon dressed as a fruit, finishing the race in 1:15:35. His was one of 14 Guinness World Records set at the marathon (read more on our sister publication Canadian Running Magazine).

Melvin Nyairo sets a new Guinness World Record at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Which got us thinking about similar records in the world of triathlon. The Guinness World Records lists 106 results for triathlon – everything from the longest triathlon to the fastest time to complete an Ironman triathlon blindfolded to the most Rubik’s cubes solved while completing a triathlon. Many of the records appear to be outdated and many more don’t have current record holders, but here are a few that we saw (and a few that we know of that aren’t on the list) that stood out:

  • The longest triathlon? That is 190 km swimming, 4,408 km biking and 1,078 km running set by Italy’s Ilaria Corli in 2017. She went from Lido di Volano to Verona, Italy, but travelled through France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Austria along the way.
  • One of the outdated results is the “most triathlons completed.” The Guinness World Record list James “Flip” Lyle as having done 250 triathlons up to March 18, 2006, but all of us Canadian triathlon fans are fully aware that John Wragg finished his 250th full-distance race last year and has added another six to that tally since then.
  • The most Ultraman triathlons completed by a married couple? According to the Guinness folks that’s five by Canadians Katherine Calder-Becker and Kevin Becker. They did Ultraman Canada in 2011 and 2012, and the Ultraman World Championship in Hawaii in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
  • That fastest time to complete an Ironman blindfolded? Haseeb Ahmad went 11:03:31 at Ironman Barcelona in 2016. He wore blacked out swimming goggles and was guided by Duncan Shea-Simmonds.
Sister Madonna Buder wins the Women 75+ age division at Ironman Canada 2012
  • Another record we know of that’s not on the Guinness site is the oldest woman to finish an Ironman. That record is held by Sister Madonna Buder, who finished Ironman Canada in 2012 at the age of 82.
  • As a follow to that, the Guinness World Records site lists Lew Hollander as the oldest man to finish an Ironman – he was 82 when he finished Kona in 2012. In fact, the oldest man to finish an Ironman is Japan’s Hiromu Inada, who finished the Ironman World Championship last year at the age of 85.
  • The most 140.6-mile triathlon races completed in one year? France’s Ludovic Chorgnon did 44 between September 20, 2014 and August 10, 2015, 41 of which were on consecutive days. (Ouch.)
  • There’s a few of the records that are no-brainers for any self-respecting triathlon fan – most wins of the Ironman World Championship by an individual: For the men Mark Allen and Dave Scott both have six, while for the women Paula Newby-Fraser won eight.
  • That Rubik’s cubes solved record? There’s no current record holder for that title.