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Vegan Triathlete To Attempt Three Cycling World Records And Never-Before-Attempted Athletic Challenge

Vegan Triathlete To Attempt Three Cycling World Records And Never-Before-Attempted Athletic Challenge

by Tiago Pita

The plant-based world-champion triathlete has set herself the challenge of achieving three back-to-back world-records on a static bike, before training to become the first person to cycle the US, swim the English Channel and climb Everest all in 12 months.

Plant-based world champion triathlete Kate Strong is undertaking three world record attempts for the farthest distance travelled on a static bike in one-, 12- and 24-hour periods. Kate’s challenge will begin at 3pm on 26th May 2021 in Bristol and conclude at the same time on the 27th.

Currently, no record exists for a female cycling on a static bicycle for 24-hours – although a male equivalent does – and Kate intends to rectify this through her endeavour. She is a champion of equal opportunities for women, is constantly striving to be the best she can be, and through her sporting achievements intends to demonstrate that there is a place for women to pioneer and lead.

The female world records that Kate needs to break for furthest distance cycled on a static bike are 348km in 12 hours and 35.3km in one hour – both achieved by Slovenian athlete Tina Ternjak in 2012.

Kate, 42, only started training for athletic success in her early 30s following a relationship breakdown that forced her to re-evaluate her life and focus on her passions. Within two years she was crowned world champion in long-distance triathlon in 2014, and since that time has been an avid participant in extreme sport.

In addition to her 2021 triple world-record challenge, Kate is also planning to undertake the Limitless Challenge between June 2022 and May 2023. The never before attempted feat will see her cycle 3,000 miles across the US, swim the English Channel and climb Everest all within 12 months.

The first part of Kate’s Limitless Challenge is Race Across America (RAAM), one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling but the greater sporting community. She will cycle 3,000 miles across 12 states from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast, crossing the Rockies, the heartland of America and finally the Appalachians. RAAM involves over 190,000 feet of climbing, with temperatures exceeding 45 degrees Celsius. Only 18% of participants are female.

In August 2022, Kate will swim approximately 21 miles across the English Channel in water temperatures ranging from 14 to 18 degrees Celsius, wearing only a bathing costume, swimming cap and goggles.

Kate’s final challenge will see her climb the highest peak in the world, standing at 8,848 meters in altitude. Only 7,000 people have previously climbed Everest and only 18% of them are female. Kate will be based in Kathmandu for approximately five months prior to attempting the summit to optimise training and acclimatisation.

Kate Strong said: “My aim is to live a life without limits. I’m constantly striving to redefine what society tells us is possible, and through these world record attempts and the Limitless Challenge, I want to demonstrate just what women can do if they put their minds to it.

My background isn’t unique, until my thirties I was working as an engineer and hadn’t partaken in any sport competitively since my teens. It was only through a cliff-edge moment, which left me financially in debt and emotionally distraught that I accepted my life needed to change. Fast-forward two years and I achieved the world championship in women's long-distance triathlon, and I haven’t looked back since.

Through these challenges, I want to set records that never existed before, in a field where female participation is stark in comparison to male. Every sporting performance I undertake, I do so with the intention of inspiring other women to realise their full potential and reach their goals.”

Kate attributes her success in part to a plant-based diet. Kate went vegan in 2012 after realising that her lung capacity was holding her back. As an asthmatic, Kate had often struggled with shortness of breath but after removing dairy from her diet she found that within weeks she was no longer wheezy and was able to run much faster. In addition, it also cleared up her eczema and improved her sleeping pattern.

The world record attempts and Limitless Challenge are about more than Kate’s own physical performance, she is also working with a team of researchers to better understand human performance more generally and how we can improve and elevate our mental and physical abilities in varying conditions.

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