‘I’LL BE BACK’ PROMISES RECORD ATTEMPT TRIATHLETE
Chilly waters thwarted John Brame’s first attempt to complete a record 12 sprints in 12 hours. But the extreme triathlete isn’t giving up just yet
THE CHALLENGE OF completing sprint after sprint triathlon over a long 12 hours isn’t for the faint-hearted.
But John Brame is already planning his second World Record attempt to complete the maximum number of disciplines in that time frame.
The former elite junior and professional cyclist’s first heroic attempt at the Blenheim Palace Bloodwise Triathlon was thwarted by colder than expected waters which sent his core temperature plummeting and led to crippling leg cramps.
The record breaking attempt is just one of seven challenges John, 36, of Roehampton, London, has set himself for this year to raise money for Bloodwise, a charity that he has worked with closely through triathlon.
He said: “Because of my sporting background people think things should come relatively easy for me. So to raise money for charity I had to think of something where people would think ‘Wow! I’m willing to put my hand in my pocket for him’. Then it all got a bit stupid after that and I just got carried away with myself…”
In April, he completed a 12 hour brick session in Richmond Park (clocking up 200km of cycling and just over 45km of running).
Next was his “100 x 100m swims-off of two minutes”. When he reached 100 he carried on determined to make the most of five hours of pool hire time.
“Because I got to 145 which is an odd number I’m now aiming for 200 x 100m reps in five hours, in July as 200 is a nicer number.”
But the world record attempt proved his toughest challenge yet. “I honestly thought that it wouldn’t be as hard as the brick. I thought the swim would give me a chance to cool down after the run and bike and recover. But it didn’t work out like that…
“The water was colder than they’ve had for three or four years and that was my undoing.
“My body temperature plummeted every time I got back into the water. We always knew
my metabolism would be up and down like a yo-yo but never thought it would have the effect on my core temperature that it did.
“I’ve never experienced cramp in my legs like it. On the fifth swim, I beached myself on to the pontoon – after cramping on the whole swim – and physically couldn’t stand up. I had to just lie there and hope it would die off.
“That then spilled into the bike and the run. Between six and eight hours I really struggled. But then your mind kicks in even if your body is not delivering for you. So many people had done so much for me to get there and support me and cheer me on I wasn’t going to not do the 12 hours. Unfortunately, I didn’t do as many disciplines as I wanted finishing 20 rather than the 30 I’d hoped for.”
“Adding up distances, I swam over IM distance (5.5km); cycled just under an IM bike distance and ran just over a marathon – including transition. So it was approximately a 12 hour Ironman with a long swim!”
John, who was awarded seven Blenheim medals in recognition of his seven completed sprints, is already planning his next 200 x 100m swim challenge, an eight to 10 hour aquathlon, a second world record attempt and finally a 12 hour cycling attempt over a 1km undulating circuit.
“I just like doing things for charity – it gives me a reason to train and it’s nice to think you’re doing something for a cause,” he says. “And juggling four sporting businesses means training keeps me sane.
“I’ve been doing triathlon since I was a teenager and have loved seeing how the sport has grown. I’m very fond of triathlon and, as cheesy as it sounds, it’s nice to do a little bit for the sport.”
We’ll keep you updated on John’s quest which has raised £3k so far . You can sponsor him at virginmoneygiving.com/ johnbrame
John Brame attempts 12 sprints in 12 hours