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Estonian triathlete looks to set new consecutive full-distance record

Competing on Fuerteventura, Rait Ratasepp won't draft on the bike and will follow WADA rules as he attempts to set a new world record

Photo by: Jakob Meier

Rait Ratasepp is hoping to set a new record for consecutive full-distance triathlons – his “Fenix Challenge” includes 60 straight days of completing a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and a 42.2 km marathon run. Ratasepp is hoping to break Ludovi Chorgnon’s record of 41 full-distance triathlons in 41 consecutive days set in 2015.

If you’re thinking that you’ve seen this before, you’re not far off. Earlier this year we reported on Canadian James Lawrence (the Iron Cowboy), who completed 101 straight full-distance triathlons, an incredible achievement, especially since Lawrence completed many of those days with a shin injury. Lawrence’s record is different in a couple of ways – the American rode in a group and was able to draft on the bike, and he also used IVs to help stay hydrated, which is against WADA competitive rules.

Adding to the challenge of Ratasepp’s effort is where he’s doing it. He’s based out of Playitas Resort on Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands. Playitas is a popular training spot for European triathletes including Sebastian Kienle because of the tough, windy terrain. The bike course the 38-year-old Estonian will take on every day after he completes the 3.8 km swim in the 50 m pool at Playitas includes 1,810 m of climbing. (Yes, the math you did in your head was right – that’s the equivalent of going up Mount Everest more than 12 times.) In addition to running at the hottest time of the day, Ratasepp’s run course includes 300 m of climbing.

Ratasepp is also looking to average under 11 hours for each of his full-distance efforts, and keep the average marathon time to under four hours – ambitious goals, for sure.

More information about Ratasepp’s progress on the challenge can be found on his website, Facebook and Instagram. Live results can be found here.

After the first four days of his challenge Ratasepp appears to be on track – he’s finished the first four “races” in 10:34, 10:43, 10:55 and 11:19. He’s completed the runs in 3:16, 3:17, 3:23 and 3:25.

Photo: Rait Ratasepp Instagram

Here are some other stats about Ratasepp:

  • His personal record for running one marathon (42,2 km) is 2:30:22, as of October 3, 2020 (see results here);

  • His full distance triathlon personal record is 9:05:22, as of September 5th, 2020 (see Ironman Tallinn results here);

  • During the summer of 2020, Ratasepp ran a marathon (42.2 km) every day for 20 consecutive days, running all of them in under three hours. See more here.

  • On November 6, 2019 he set a new record for 40-consecutive “ultra triathlons” and became the fastest man in the world to complete 40 full distance triathlons in 40 consecutive days (read more here). On average, it took him 11 hours and 6 minutes a day to complete each full-distance race. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary achievements was that he ran all 40 marathons in less than 4 hours. For example, he ran the fastest marathon on day 33, with a time of 3:12:33 (read more about numbers and statistics here);

  • On June 16, 2019 he set a new world record in the Double Ultra Triathlon World Cup race in Germany (i.e. 7.6 km swim, 360 km bike and 84.4 km run). See the results of this competition here and an interview given after the competition here.