HOW far can a human be pushed? Well, if you are a human called Luke Tyburski, covering 2000 kilometres in 12 days sounds about right.
The Bathurst endurance athlete will be tackling that distance in October when he races from Morocco to Monaco in what is known as The Ultimate Triathlon.
Amazingly, this is not an event planned by an international sporting body, but rather something Tyburski came up with to test himself mentally and physically.
“This is a challenge, not an event. It’s never been done before,” he said.
“I came up with it three years ago while staring at a world map looking for a big challenge. The Strait of Gibraltar popped out, as did the south-eastern Spanish coastline, and from there I saw Monaco and thought, Morocco to Monaco, done! I looked at the distance and a swim, bike, run adventure made the most sense.”
The challenge will involve tackling one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – the Gibraltar Strait – which Tyburski points out is “the same length as 400 laps of a 50 metre swimming pool”.
Following that will be four days on the bike which will take him from Spain to the French border and to top things off, Tyburski will have seven days to cover the distance of 14 marathons to reach the finish line at Monaco within his time frame.
“It’s 2000 kilometres from the northern tip of Morocco to Monaco while following the Mediterranean coastline. I chose 12 days as I felt this would give me an extreme challenge each and every day,” he said.
“I have a designated start-finish point for each day, and will set off each morning at the exact same time. I’ll be going for anywhere between 12 and 18 hours every day for 12 days.”
Tyburski will be streaming his challenge live and offering the chance for people to interact online, while he said in future years he hopes others will join him in taking on The Ultimate Triathlon.
As part of his preparation, Tyburski decided to pull out of events at the end of last year in Spain and in England which he had initially planned. That allowed his body to rest.
Scientists from London’s Roehampton University will monitor his training. Mentally, Tyburski has been preparing for this challenge for three years after the idea first popped into his head.
“Because no one has ever done a challenge like this, figuring out how to train for it took some time and thought,” he said.
“Physically, I will do a four- to six-week block of training which will involve swimming, cycling, running, and gym work – anywhere between 15 and 25 hours a week.
“Then I will focus on either one or two sports for a period of five to 10 days and increase the volume.
“I have trained my body to be efficient when exercising and it needing fuel, not every 30 minutes, but it will tell me when I am getting low. I’ll eat real and natural foods close to their purist form, not out of a packet or processed.
“I make my own bars, loafs, cookies, gels and food to use while training and on adventures. Knowing exactly what is in the food I am eating also gives me a lift.
“On this adventure I expect there will be plenty of unplanned moments.”
The Ultimate Triathlon will take Tyburski across two continents and three countries, but he has selected a time of year when the weather should be favourable.
The temperature should be in the high teens and the chance for rain is minimal, but he admits “the coastal winds may cause a problem”.
Whatever challenges Tyburski encounters in preparing for and taking part in the epic 12-day challenge, he wants as many people as possible to come along with him via his websites (theultimatetriathlon.co, luketyburski.com) and offer their support.