With racing pretty much out of the picture in 2020, triathletes around the world have been looking for new challenges to maintain fitness and motivation. Some have set their eyes on “Everesting.”
“The concept of Everesting is fiendishly simple: Pick any hill, anywhere in the world and complete repeats of it in a single activity until you climb 8,848 m – the equivalent height of Mt Everest,” is how its defined on the official Everesting website, everesting.cc.
You can complete this challenge on a bike, on foot or online – once you do you’re name will appear on the site’s Hall of Fame.
There have been 9,813 successful Everestings, according to the site, and, according to our sister publication Canadian Cycling Magazine, “the number of successful Everestings has doubled in 2020.”
In May we reported on Karsten Madsen’s successful Everesting attempt, when he completed a 247 km ride on an out and back 6.4 km loop that had 231 m of elevation near his home in Whistler. In 11 and a half hours he’d achieved his goal.
View this post on Instagram
This started from a challenge from @micaylagatto to do @rebeccarusch #giddyupchallenge . To ride the same elevation as Everest in one ride (29,029ft) a number I will never forgot. However it turned into something much bigger and still processing! The ride took 11hours 30mins to hit the number. 247km. I didn’t do this alone, the support from my family and friends blew me away. My longest ride before was 4.5 hours. I could see all the messages coming in on my watch and literally so many that long chunks of times would go by where I didn’t see my numbers, just messages of encouragement & support. I far from think of myself as an inspiring person. I race for a living so to me it’s my job. However YOU all inspired me to go another hour, climb another meter. This day I will hold close forever as the feeling given to me from close and from.a far is just indescribable. I love my town and my people ❤️ thank you for being in my life ! I will never forget this. 🏔🗻 . . . #giddyupchallenge #whistler #onlyinwhistler #whistlerbc #everesting #whistlerblackcomb @matthew.tongue photo man
Since Madsen’s big day there has been a flurry of activity here in Canada on the Everesting front. In June a couple of cyclists broke the Canadian record on the same day on the Sydenham climb in Dundas, Ont. – Adam Millar made the 8,848 m in under 11 hours (he kept riding and hit 10,000 m in 12:13, a new Canadian record), while his Ascent Cycling teammate Jeremy Rae started a few hours later and set a new Canadian record of 10:27.
Rae’s record would be annihilated by 2019 Canadian junior time trial champion Jacob Rubuliak in July – the 17 year old finished his Everesting ride in which he rode up and down Knox Mountain in B.C. 38.5 times in 9:33.
Madsen isn’t the only Canadian triathlete who has completed an Everesting Challenge, though.
In June Regina Beach, Sask.’s Brett Vancise rode up and down the hill in Regina Beach for 19 hours – he rode over 300 km total – to achieve the 8,848 m challenge. (Vancise’s name doesn’t appear on the Everesting site, but his feat was reported by Regina’s CTV affiliate.
Ontario’s Jacob Jamnicky also completed his Everesting effort on the Sydenham climb in Dundas in early July, finishing in just under 14 hours.
Pooley sets Everesting record
The flurry of Everesting attempts around the world hasn’t only seen the Canadian records fall. Earlier this month Great Britain’s Emma Pooley, a former pro cyclist who has since turned her sights to multisport racing, rode up and down the 6.7 km, 13 per cent Haggenegg climb in Schwyz, Switzerland to set a new record of 8:53:36, becoming the first woman to beat the nine-hour mark.
That same week former Tour de France champion Alberto Contador from Spain rode up and down a steep climb in his home country 78 times in 7:27:20, breaking Australian Lachlan Morton’s record set three weeks earlier of 7:29:57.
For those who think that simply biking up the equivalent of Mt Everest isn’t nearly enough, how about making it a multisport effort? Mayank Vaid, a Hong Kong resident who trains with Canada’s NRG Performance Training turned the Everest challenge into a triathlon. Between April 9 and 12 he did a 9 km swim, followed by bike and run Everesting efforts.