Caterham athlete Mark Bayliss completes Arch to Arc without wetsuit
A company director and part-time endurance athlete has smashed the world record for an event only completed by ten people.
Mark Bayliss, 35, of Longsdon Way, Caterham, overcame the Arch to Arc triathlon, that includes a run from London to Dover, swimming the English Channel, then cycling from Calais to Paris, on Saturday, in 73 hours and 39 minutes, almost eight hours faster than the previous world best mark.
Not content with just taking on the task, Mr Bayliss swam the Channel without a wetsuit, the first to attempt this feat as part of the Arch to Arc.
He said: "There are few things in life you can do where you can honestly say ‘No-one else has done this’. I don’t want to take on challenges where there isn’t a risk I won’t be able to complete it."
By shunning the wetsuit, he had to cope with the severe cold of the sea as well as reduced buoyancy.
A company director of Croydon-based delivery company Wings Transport, Mr Bayliss took up triathlons aged just 11 but after a number of years found the event no longer fed his need to push himself.
He said: "I got bored. The motivation just became to go quicker, and so I began looking for something new."
Beginning the 87 mile run to the coast on Wednesday morning, he pushed through the pain barrier on numerous occasions to arrive at the Arc de Triomphe just after midday on Saturday.
He said: "I went out wanting an adventure and we have had an adventure, it’s going to a take a while to sink in. At the moment it just feels like I am standing on a street corner in Paris.
"I know it’s not a normal thing but since I have been training for years for this, and it was just putting together all the pieces that I do regularly, it doesn’t feel that abnormal and as such hasn’t fully hit me. It just feels, ‘Job done’ and home to friends and family."
Mr Bayliss completed the challenge for SportsAid, which supports up and coming athletes.
To sponsor him visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkBayliss .