8in8in8: 6-13 March 2016
This Sunday, 6 March, Melbourne endurance athlete Craig Percival will commence his quest to become the first person to complete 8 full “Ironman” triathlons in 8 consecutive days, in the 8 states and territories of Australia.
Craig will complete his first Ironman in Darwin (Northern Territory), which has just experienced its hottest February on record, and eight days later he will cross the final finish line at the iconic Tan running track in the heart of Melbourne.
Renowned as one of the world’s toughest endurance events, the Ironman triathlon comprises a 3.8k swim, 180.2k bike ride and 42.2k run. For most athletes, a single Ironman event is considered a major life achievement. Only a handful have ever completed multiple races over consecutive days.
While attempting this incredible test of physical and mental stamina, which he has coined “8in8in8”, 44 year old Percival is aiming to raise $80,000 for the John Maclean Foundation (JMF). John Maclean was the first wheelchair athlete to complete the Hawaii Ironman, and has been a source of inspiration to thousands of athletes – Percival included – around the world. He created JMF to change the lives of young Australians who use wheelchairs.
Percival certainly has the athletic pedigree to achieve his 8in8in8 dream. A veteran of 20 Ironman events including four World Championships (Hawaii), Percival reached the pinnacle of his triathlon career when he finished second overall in the 2014 Ultraman World Championship. Held over three days, Ultraman entails a 10k swim, 421k of cycling, and a double marathon.
Craig has been training specifically for 8in8in8 for six months, during which time he has completed a 15 hour ‘Everesting’ cycle challenge involving 40 repeats of the Arthurs Seat hill climb, as well as several tests of endurance training under minimal sleep conditions.
However, it may not be the physical challenge that poses the greatest threat to 8in8in8.
The logistics behind the event cannot be underestimated and, in the case of flights and weather events, there are some things that will simply be out of Percival’s control.
Each swim will be held in a pool, to enable accurate distance measurement and to mitigate risks associated with open water swimming. This means that the start time each day will be determined by pool opening hours, while the finish times will be dictated by flight schedules.
In WA, Craig will literally need to run to Perth Airport, in order to make the flight out to Adelaide.
Percival has been overwhelmed by the incredible support he has received from the triathlon community, with over $20,000 already raised for JMF. He recently received a massive boost of motivation when John Maclean himself called Craig to ask if he could join in for parts of the Sydney event.
8in8in8 is proudly supported by Jaggad, Triathlon Victoria and the athletes of Craig’s coaching business, No Limits Endurance.
Visit the 8in8in8 website for the event schedule!
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