New world record for the longest single-event triathlon

Despite an exhausted stumble near the finish line, a new world record has been set for the longest distance single-event triathlon, including a 7-mile swim in Richmond’s Ellerton Lake

Redcar businessman and Ironman competitor, Steven Green has set a new world record for the longest distance single-event triathlon.

Starting at 6.10am on 12 August, Steven swam seven miles in Ellerton Lake, Richmond, cycled 181 miles and ran 46 miles, crossing the finishing line at 12.30pm on Saturday 13 August.

A show of solidarity

Rules stipulate that competitors are not allowed to rest for more than five minutes at a time during the 30-hour challenge – something that evidently took its toll on Steven during a dramatic moment of his run, when he stumbled from sheer exhaustion just five miles from the finish line. His support team quickly came to his aid, including the former world record holder Ian Lambert, who propped him up for a few seconds and urged him to keep going.

Recalling the stumble, Steven says, “My Achilles and both knees were very sore, and sleep deprivation was taking its toll. I failed to lift my leg high enough as I was going up the kerb, and fell forward. My reactions were very slow and I felt very unsteady. The fall helped in some ways as it released some adrenaline and helped me switch back on for the last few miles.”

His 7-mile swim in Ellerton Lake was also hampered by an injury: “The swim was becoming challenging after the sixth mile, as I had a slight shoulder injury going into the event. I knew the risk of further injury was increasing so I just wanted to get it out of the way. Swimming front crawl for over five hours is a solid challenge in itself.”

A triathlon newbie

Steven only started triathlon training two years ago; before that he’d never swum more than 400 metres in one go. Despite being a relative newcomer to triathlons, he felt he had what it takes to beat the world record, having formerly been a physical training instructor in the army and competing in two Ironman challenges.

So how does it feel for him to be a Guinness world record holder? “Having being involved with a high level of fitness since I was a child, breaking the world record really feels like the icing on the cake,” says an elated Steven.

Do you fancy training for a triathlon? Read our guide to training in open water.

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Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.