By Annemarie Evans
Hong Kong veterinarian David Gething and solicitor Mayank Vaid are aiming to raise HK$1 million for two local charities as they enter the second day of an arduous 288 mile (463km) triathlon taking them from Marble Arch in London to the Arc De Triomphe in Paris. The feat involves running 87 miles (140km) to Dover, then a cross-Channel swim – with a distance of at least 21 miles (33.8km) – to the French coast. They will then cycle on a tandem bike to Paris.
By Wednesday evening, Hong Kong time, the men had completed the first two stages of the Enduroman Arch to Arc Triathlon. Gething, who specialises in long-distance events, has previously competed in Ultraman Florida, and also completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Vaid, meanwhile, is the fastest Indian Ultraman. He has competed in Ironman races across Asia Pacific and maintains a top overall position in Country Age Group rankings.
The duo are raising funds for two local Hong Kong organisations – the Zubin Foundation and Outward Bound HK.
Speaking from their team boat off the French coast ahead of the cycling stage, Gething said the hardest part so far had definitely been the English Channel.
“It was way more difficult than I was expecting it to be. We started off at about midnight. And it was just really, really cold. It was about 10 degrees outside and about 12 degrees in the water. Both of us got really cold and nearly stopped about two hours in,” he said.
“But neither of us was sensible enough to say stop, so we both kept going. I guess it was just one arm after the other and we got through it and when the sun came up everything kind of changed.”
Gething estimated that the remaining cycling stage would take them between 15 and 20 hours. The pair will be riding a tandem bike, which he admits neither are accustomed to.
“We think we’ll be in Paris by tomorrow evening,” he said.
The Enduroman Arch to Arc Triathlon is the longest point to point triathlon event in history.