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Meet the endurance super-couple aiming to do 100 triathlons in 100 days

SuuntoTri — 27 January 2017

John Mergler and Debi Hazelden, of Sydney, Australia, are officially raising the bar for power-couples everywhere: starting Saturday January 28th, the two will undertake 100 triathlons in 100 days.

John and Debi are calling it the Iron Century. John is doing the full Ironman distance and Debi (who gave birth to their son Ryder only seven months ago!) aiming for the half. They’re aiming to complete the challenge on the day of the Ironman Australia, in Port Macquarie on May 7th – and qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona at the same time. Crazy? Absolutely. We had a quick chat to find out just how crazy they actually are.  

Where did you get the idea? And what makes you think you can do it? 

We owe much of the inspiration to the Iron Cowboy James Lawrence, who completed 50 Ironmans in 50 states in 50 days. We said if he can do that, with all the travel and logistics and planning that go into it, we can definitely do the same route 100 times in our backyard. 

So it’s the exact same route, every day? 

For the first 95 days, yes – we’ll start off in the Prince Alfred Pool, just a few kilometers away from the house. They’ve reserved us our own lane every morning. 

And the bike and the run? 

From the pool we’ll hop in the motorhome, and head to Centennial Park, just a kilometer from our house. A loop of the park is exactly 3.8kms. I’ll do 48 laps on the bike, while Debi will do 24, and then the run will be 12 laps for me, and 6 for Debi. 

Sounds brutal. How fast? 

100 days is a long time, but my natural rhythm is pretty quick, so I can’t go too slow. I’ll be aiming for about 12 hours, Debi six. 

And you’ll have some company. 

Yep – our 7-month-old son Ryder loves being pushed in the pram, and he’ll join us for a bit each day. We expect he’ll get about 7,000km in over the course of the project – but he’ll even have his own separate Suunto watch recording his adventures! 

There’s been some incredible logistics in planning this. 

Yep – there’s no question success is all about recovery here. Foodora will be delivering a hot meal to our house every evening, so we won’t have to cook. Local physio Healthspace has lined up a crew of massage therapists to treat us every day of the challenge. 

And for the last five days? 

So after day 95, we’ll hop in the motorhome and head up to Port Macquarie, where we’ll both compete in the Ironman Australia in hopes of qualifying for Ironman Worlds in Hawaii later this year.  

All we can say right now is best of luck – stay tuned to the Suunto Facebook or the IronCentury Facebook page for the latest updates on John and Debi’s insane trip challenge! 



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