Abhejali completes a 'channel triathlon' from Dover to Prague
By Nirbhasa Mageeauthor bio »
About the author:
Nirbhasa is originally from Ireland but currently lives in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is an enthusiastic multi-day runner, having completed four times the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race - the longest race in the world.
44-year-old Abhejali Bernardova, a member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Zlin in the Czech Republic, swam the English Channel and then biked and ran all the way to Prague - an extreme ultra-triathlon that covered a total of 1111 km and took her 7 days, 12 hours and 5 minutes.
She started on Monday September 13 at 3am from Dover. In very challenging conditions, with the wind at force 5, she swam the English Channel in 15 hours and 33 minutes. The only other successful crossing on the same day was a 5-person relay team. It was her last chance to swim this year and the swim had already been postponed a few times.
Current restrictions did not allow her to stay in France, so she had to take a detour back to Dover and then take a ferry to France. She then cycled from Calais to her hometown of Cheb, near the Czech/German border. The cycling leg, which took her 4 days, was approximately 900 kilometres through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. She arrived in Cheb on Saturday afternoon, then ran 182km to Prague, arriving on Monday afternoon. Her daily average was 220km cycling and 2 marathons running.
The Czech athlete successfully completed her first English Channel swim 10 years ago. In 2018 she became the 1st Czech, the 10th person in the world, 4th woman and the 1st person from a landlocked country to complete the Oceans Seven - a series of seven difficult long-distance swims around the world.
With her ultra-triathlon she aims to connect people and places and inspire others to break down and cross barriers in their own lives. If she can go from the UK to the Czech Republic under her own steam, then we really are closer to each other than we realise, we just put up unnecessary walls between us. She also tries to inspire others to overcome their own limits and show that these limits are often self-created.
Video: Abhejali gives a TEDx talk earlier this year in Prague