Saturday 28 January marked the first of 100 gruelling days for John Mergler and Debi Hazelden, who are making a record-breaking triathlon attempt to raise money for Australian Red Cross, and popular restaurant delivery platform foodora will be providing their much-needed sustenance for the duration.
The pair of endurance athletes are taking on the world’s first ‘Iron Century’, with John completing 100 Iron-distance triathlons in consecutive days, and Debi embarking on 100 half-Iron triathlons. They’ll finish up at the Ironman Australia race in Port Macquarie.
Together, they’re aiming to beat world records (currently set at 50 Ironman triathlons in 50 days, and 30 half-Iron triathlons in 30 days) while swimming, cycling and running a combined distance of 33,870 km. That’s further than the journey from Sydney to New York and back again.
“We want to inspire others to do more than they think they can and push beyond boundaries,” Debi said.
To help Debi and John to be able to push themselves to the ultimate limit, foodora is teaming up with the ambitious pair and providing their daily feed, to help them intake a sufficient amount of food and nutrients every day.
The foodora team have been working closely with Debi and John’s nutritionist to create a foolproof dinner plan, which will help the pair reach their required nutritious calories per day. A few examples of restaurants they’ll be enjoying their meals from include: O Superfood, Gelbison, Plumer Rd. Chicken, Goodtime Burgers, Nutrition Station Darlinghurst, Arthurs Pizza Paddington, About Spicer, and Le Souk.
You can check out what they’re tucking into each night via ‘foodora’s food snap’ and on their Instagram and Facebook channels - @foodora.au. Foodora will also be physically getting behind the athletes and staff will be jumping on their bikes and doing a lap with the pair.
Toon Gyssels, co-founder and CEO of foodora Australia said of their partnership, “I’m really glad that foodora can support this impressive challenge and it's an incredibly worthwhile charity. Debi and John's daily schedule is timed to the minute, so cooking is a luxury they don't have. This is where foodora can step in to make sure they get the nutrients they need, at a time that works for them.”
The pair aim to raise $100,000 for Australian Red Cross’ disaster relief and recovery services.
“Triathlon is often seen as a selfish sport and I see this as a way of paying back,” John says. “A lot of people around the world are doing it tough, way tougher than anyone attempting to do 100 Ironman. What we’re doing is nothing in comparison with what these people are having to endure.”
Members of the public are invited to take on their own fitness challenge and fundraise alongside John and Debi. Information and support are available online at www.redcross.org.au/ironcentury. You can also make a direct donation to cheer on the team.
Facts and stats
● The Iron Century begins on Saturday 28 May and concludes with the official Ironman Australia triathlon on Sunday 7 May.
● The world record attempt will be recorded and monitored via sanctioning of the event by Triathlon NSW, GPS data collected via two devices, and non-stop video captured during the swim, bike and run by the Cyclic Fly12 and Fly6.
● Debi and John will complete the majority of their triathlons in and around Sydney’s Centennial Park, Prince Alfred Park Pool and Victoria Park Pool, but will spend their final five days in Port Macquarie in the lead-up to Ironman Australia.
● The general public are welcome to watch and participate at Centennial Park.
● For each of the 100 days, John will swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and run 42.2km. Debi will swim 1.9km, cycle 90km and run 21.1km.
● Iron Century statistics:
* Support team of 30 people
* Laps of Centennial Park: 8,900
* Laps of Sydney city pools: 11,400
* Aiming for a grand total of 570km swimming, 27,000 km cycling, 6,300 km running (700 km running with the pram) – and 1.2 million calories burnt.
● 57-year-old John and 36-year-old Debi live with their son in Sydney’s Bondi Junction.
● Participants can sign up for their own fundraising challenge at www.redcross.org.au/ironcentury.
● You can follow the world first on social media at: