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

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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

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