I have a healthy disregard for the impossible. Next Expedition: Global Triathlon-Swimming the Atlantic, cycling Eurasia and running across North America.
Wow! Dan's incredible feat of endurance - a Global Triathlon. This involves swimming across the Atlantic, cycling from France to Siberia, and running across the States. Good luck Dan!
I am participating in http://www.danmartinextreme.com/home.php" rel="nofollow">The Global Triathlon.
In May 2012 I'll dive off from Pier B in Battery Park, New York and swim across the Atlantic to France - no shark cage, no wetsuit. From France I'll cycle east through Europe and across Siberia during winter to the Bering Straits. Then I'll attempt to swim and haul myself across the mainly frozen ice to Cape Wales in Alaska from where I'll run to New York, ending with a New York marathon in November 2012.
Training at the moment involves swimming between two and eight hours most days. I try and make sure most of this is in open water but the water is getting cold - today it was 3 degrees. I see people walking by dressed up as if they’re climbing Everest - they must think I’m mad swimming in my trunks.
I was a teacher but have never really committed to it. I moved to New Zealand to play rugby after university and then to France where I eventually injured myself so much that I had to retire. To try and rehab my knee I cycled from London to Cape Town arriving with a bombproof knee but a glass shoulder that I had injured in a big crash.
From Cape Town I flew to South Korea and taught English for a year. I thought Korea would be exciting and different but it wasn’t enough to keep me from gazing longingly at maps. I eventually decided I’d cycle back to Cape Town this time through the Axis of Evil countries (North Korea, Iran and Iraq), across North Africa and down the West Coast.
I first heard of this guy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beno%C3%AEt_Lecomte" rel="nofollow">Ben Lecomte, swimming the Atlantic when I was at university and went out and bought my first bit of kit that day, which was over 8 years ago. I don’t think there was one specific moment for this trip.
I remember pretty early on on my first trip realising that I was capable of much more than I had thought - we all are. As soon as you realise that you will find food, water and a place to stay - that you will survive from day to day - then it all becomes easy from there.
It depends on what you’re doing. For the bike rides I did no training whatsoever and only did a cursory search on the internet about the route and conditions (my original route had me going through two borders that have been closed for a total of 75 years!).
This trip is different. It’s bigger; it’s something that I can’t use the first day of to train for the second day. It’s something that I need to commit to 100% before day one. The preparation has also had to be much more thorough. I’m still learning but am growing to love logistics - I can imagine myself out into the situation and it’s a tonic for the monotony of e-mail and pool tiles that is my life at the moment.
My first two cycle tours were ridiculously cheap - I was living off between two and ten pounds a day. I saved up and self funded them. I think this is the best for touring like this as the money means more to you. This trip is still quite cheap but hiring the boat to support the swim is 90% of the budget. I’ll have spent 95% of my budget before I even dive into the water! This money is coming from a combination of self funding and some corporate sponsorship.
I disagree with people being sponsored for a holiday and have felt an obligation on all my trips to commit to raising money for charity. My marker as to whether this is a success or not is if I raise more than it costs me to do it - otherwise it’s pointless. All money donated to my trips goes directly to charity - I don’t touch a penny. I’m hoping on this next trip to raise four times as much as it’s going to cost.
Worst thing: Being at the mercy of corporations.
Best thing: Meeting amazing people on the way. The people I talk to on a day-to-day basis are my heroes and I feel honoured to be getting help and advice from them.
The hardest part of any trip is getting out your front door -http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/" rel="nofollow"> Al Humphreys told me that in an email before my first trip. Don’t let the bastards get you down.
The http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa" rel="nofollow">thorn tree forums on Lonely Planet are amazing. I always try and answer two questions for every one I ask.
Other than that, Google is your best friend!