Earlier this year Sean Conway and his increasingly famous trademark bright red beard jogged to a standstill at the most south-western tip of the British mainland, six weeks after leaving John O’Groats in Scotland.
The 1,100-mile run in six weeks wrote Sean’s name in the record books, as he became the first person in history to cycle, swim and run the length of the British mainland. The ride was done in 2008, then the 900-mile swim in 2013. Sean tells the truly epic story of the swimming ‘first’ in his book Hell and High Water. Coming out earlier this year, the book reveals the origin of that fabulous beard – defence from jellyfish stings.
For the last leg of his ‘ultimate GB triathlon’ Sean ran self-supported, distinctively styled as a ginger Forrest Gump, with iconic red running shorts, yellow T-shirt and Bubba Shrimp baseball cap.
Carrying all his essentials on his back, the Zimbabwe-born adventurer ran with a 6kg back pack, including an impressively lightweight 1.3kg camping setup. For sleeping Sean simply camped along the way: “Mostly I just made it up as I went along.”
“Normally I’d have been happy to bivvy, but as I needed decent, long recovery breaks several times during the day, I thought a tent would serve better.”
This wasn’t a race but there was certainly a strategy, with Sean’s attempt last year ending in injury after a fall while filming a selfie on his phone damaged his knee, ending his attempt. Running 90 miles in the first three days can’t have helped either.
What’s next for the most distinctive beard in endurance adventure? We’re not sure, but Sean was last seen learning how to paraglide…