Sean Conway is no stranger to adventure. The former freelance photographer has been logging huge accomplishments in swimming, running, and cycling disciplines since 2012. But, his most recent feat might take the cake.
The UK resident just completed 102 IRONMAN-length triathlons. Daily. In a row.
Yeah — go back and read that again.
That’s a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26-mile run — every day for 102 days. The effort served as a fundraiser for the True Venture Foundation, a nonprofit that supports youth sports clubs in the U.K. American James Lawe\rence set the previous record at 101 consecutive days in 2021. According to the plethora of Instagram posts Conway made along the way, he was eating up to 8,000 calories per day to fuel his runs, swims, and bike rides.
Conway completed the series of grueling IRONMAN events today at the Mold Leisure Center in Mold, Wales. A crowd was on hand to congratulate the unmistakably red-bearded athlete as he took his final steps. Mold’s Mayor, Teresa Carberry, was also present.
“This has been by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’ll be hard to top this,” Conway said in an Instagram post written shortly after he completed his final triathlon. “Thanks to all the riders and runners who selflessly took time out to do the same lapped course every day in the sodding rain at times. We’ll be friends for life.
A History of Distance
Conway was born and raised in Zimbabwe and emigrated to the U.K. in 2002. By 2012, he was participating in his first long-distance adventure — cycling 16,000 miles around the world. In the following years, he racked up an impressive list of accomplishments: swimming the length of Great Britain, a triathlon circumnavigation of mainland Britain, and an unsupported 4,000-mile, 24-day bike ride across Europe, just to name a few.
In 2022, an injury sidelined Conway on his first attempt at the 102 consecutive Ironmans.
“I really struggled with this injury and the long-term impact on my athleticism. However, I managed to turn it around and the drive and motivation to get stronger and fitter was like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” Conway wrote on his website. “Getting knocked down seems to be a huge motivator for me.”
Apparently so. Earlier this year, Conway got to work again, and this time he stayed healthy — though understandably fatigued.
“My days are mostly identical. I wake up at the same time, with fairly similar times on [sic] all three disciplines, and I eat almost the exact same thing every day. Yet some days I feel like a badger’s arse, and others I feel awesome,” he posted to his social media on day 94.
In gratitude for his health, he dedicated several of the last 102 days to personal heroes and folks who inspired him (including Lawrence, the previous record holder).
And speaking of inspiration, one of the ways Conway raised money for the True Venture Foundation was to charge runners, swimmers, and cyclists a small fee to join him in his daily efforts. The plan killed two birds with one stone. It collected cash for a good cause and served to inspire Conway with friendly banter as he pounded the pavement.
“We had a public pool session which was amazing except for the fact I had the fastest swimmer next to me making me look like I was going backwards [sic]. It’s incredible to watch good swimmers though, and I’m certainly going to work hard after this to get better,” Conway shared on day 93.
“The ride was good with the biggest mid-week crowd I think. Some of the regulars and a few new faces. I did the perfect time, and felt good going into the run. We had a big crowd again for the run, and again it rained a lot but it wasn’t too cold. Everyone was in good spirits and the banter was high. We landed up having the most number of full marathon finishers today with 8 people. One of them, Alex [did] his first marathon ever. All in all a much better day than yesterday — even though my legs still hurt a lot,” he continued.
Sean Conway: Looking Forward
So, 102 IRONMAN-length triathlons would be enough to keep most of us on the couch for, oh, maybe the next decade or so? But if Conway’s history is any indication, he won’t stay still for long. The “dreams” section of his website lists a host of bonkers-sounding prospective adventures — running the length of Africa and completing an “extreme cold water, snowy Ironman triathlon” are just two of them.
So, watch this space. We haven’t heard the last of this wild man.