Mark Bayliss hopes to become the first person to complete the challenge without a wetsuit
This morning (Wednesday 5th September) at 10:30AM ultra distance athlete, Mark Bayliss, officially set off on the world’s ultimate triathlon - the Enduroman Arch to Arc. Starting from Marble Arch in London, the Arch to Arc (#inov8challenge) involves a gruelling 87 mile run to Dover, a Channel swim from Dover to Calais and a punishing 181 mile bike ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe, Paris.
Only 10 athletes have ever completed the Arch to Arc. Mark Bayliss is aiming to complete the 300 mile challenge in World Record time, hopefully smashing Eddie Ette’s 2001 record of 81 hours and five minutes.
In a world first, Mark will also attempt to become the only athlete to complete the ultra distance triathlon without the use of a wetsuit for the Channel swim. Taking the wetsuit out of the equation, after such a long run, means Mark will face a physiological test none of the previous 10 Arch to Arc competitors have had to endure.
This is the first event in the inov-8TM Challenge Series which will see committed athletes take on some of the toughest endurance events in the world.
Dr James Carter, Head of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, who has been helping Mark prepare a nutrition plan for the challenge said: “Mark will have two additional challenges to deal with when swimming the Channel without a wetsuit. Firstly, his energy requirements will be increased because he will have to work harder to stay afloat; secondly, temperature regulation, namely preventing too great a drop in body temperature, will be made more difficult. Mark will feel colder and he will also lose heat quicker without the insulating properties of the wet suit.”
Mark Bayliss said: “It's been getting on for 10 years of working towards the Arch to Arc challenge, it's not been a short term plan. All the events and training I’ve done over the years have been about getting a step closer. It's gone from a mythical event, to a dream, to a reality and now it is right in front of me. I just can’t wait to get started now and get a few miles under my belt. I think the swim is going to be the toughest mental challenge so my plan is to try and reach Dover feeling as fresh as possible. I feel privileged to be able to take part in this challenge and I am very much looking forward to the adventure.”
Having represented England at junior level in Water Polo and Great Britain at youth level in Triathlon and Duathlon, Mark put his sporting ambitions on hold during his twenties to concentrate on his career as a Company Director at Wings Transport. However upon turning thirty Mark decided to start training again, this time for endurance events and in 2007 he swam the English Channel solo. Since then he has competed in the Sri Chinmoy Lake Zurich Marathon Swim (26.4km) three times, raced two Ironman triathlons, 13 marathons and 10 ultras including the Marathon des Sables. The Arch to Arc #inov8challenge will be biggest physical test of his life.
Commenting on the Mark Bayliss challenge, Wayne Edy Company founder of inov-8TM said: “Mark is the ultimate committed athlete, and really encapsulates inov-8TM’s values of pushing the limits of performance. We are very proud to support Mark through his training and excited about his Arch to Arc challenge launching our inov-8TM Challenge Series. We hope Mark’s example will inspire others to push the limits of their performance.”
Mark is hoping to raise as much money as possible for SportsAid and help the next generation of British athletes. SportsAid helps young sportsmen and women to achieve their ambitions by supporting them during the defining early years of their careers - SportsAid athletes won 47 medals at London 2012 Olympics including 20 golds. Go to http://www.justgiving.com/Mark-Bayliss0 to sponsor Mark or text (UK only) CFWC59 to 70070 with the amount you would like to donate.
For all the latest news about the challenge visit http://markbayliss.wordpress.com, follow @INOV8run or watch the latest footage at www.youtube.com/user/INOV8run. For more information about inov-8TM products go to www.inov-8.com.
In addition to inov-8TM enabling this challenge, Mark is supported by Parlee Bicycles (www.parleecycles.com), Gatorade (www.Gatorade.co.uk), GB Cycles (www.gbcycles.co.uk), i-ride (www.i-ride.co.uk) and Wings Transport (www.wingstransport.co.uk).