The real estate agent from Utah enjoyed a triathlon training program that sometimes was straight out of a lazy-bones’s handbook.
All the beer, pizza (cheese primarily) and whipping cream he could consume.
Rob Lea needed that not-so-routine diet to get a little extra weight for his not-so-ordinary sort of climb, swim and bike undertaking he called “The Ultimate World Triathlon.”
Lea scaled Mount Everest through whipping wind, swam in the freezing waters of the English Channel while sustaining constant jellyfish stings and rode his bike, through uncomfortable saddle sores, from one American coast to the other.
All in 6 months, too. He started on April 25 as he acclimated at Everest base camp and finished on Oct. 7 by holding his bike aloft while standing in the waves.
He did take a quick timeout in the middle– to get married.
” What a fantastic experience,” Lea stated in a phone interview.
The principle struck him while being in a doctor’s office. Dealing with ankle discomfort, the doctor recommended he give up running.
His mind roamed. A previous swimmer at the University of California at Davis, he started to believe about the English Channel.
Then, a random idea: Would the English Channel or Everest be more tough?
More thoughts: How about achieving both? Possibly a bike ride included as well?
A plan was hatched.
Joining him on the exploration was expert ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich, who married Lea after the English Channel portion of the journey.
To train for Everest, the couple scaled Cho Oyu, which is among the highest tops worldwide. It’s likewise the spot where they took their relationship to an even higher plateau with Gleich proposing to him.
Lea stated yes.
About two months prior to their Everest departure, however, Gleich tore the ACL in her left knee. She climbed up Everest anyway.
Rather of attempting to summit along the south side through Nepal (there was a viral photo of a traffic jam produced by climbers waiting to ascend), they took a northern path. Despite all the wind gusts, they reached the summit on May 24 with the thermometer reading minus-35 degrees (minus-37 Celsius).
” I’m actually speechless and attempting to discover the words on what it all ways,” Lea composed on Instagram. “Think it’s time to begin thinking of swimming the English Channel.”
After showing up back in Utah, Gleich had surgery to repair her knee while Lea began his training program for the swim.
That meant gaining 30 pounds for insulation in the cold water. He bought pizza from a local joint location in Park City that sponsored him. He drank Fat Tire amber ale thanks to N ew Belgium Developing. And he used a lot of heavy cream in his coffee.
It was gluttonous.
” I was consuming slices of pizza in bed,” said Lea, who didn’t swim much due to the fact that he couldn’t afford to burn the calories. “I was eating even when I was full.”
The 38- year-old flew to England and started his English Channel trek on July 9 from Samphire Hoe at roughly 4: 33 p.m. regional time. No wetsuit could be used (guidelines) so he wore a Speedo.
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What helped early on were the jellyfish bites.
Sure, they stung, but they likewise offered an adrenaline rush. At one point, he went through a flower of jellyfish. Now that didn’t feel so great. He got stung about 50 times.
Gleich provided continuous assistance from the boat (no contact is enabled). Every 30 minutes or so she provided food and water. She also recorded every swim stroke of the journey.
At about 4: 22 a.m., he climbed onto the shore in Wissant, France.
It took less than 12 hours. He imagined much longer.
” Reaching out and touching the sand on the French coastline was a minute of happiness, relief, confusion and elation,” he composed on Instagram.
Back to Utah. More training awaited.
Initially, however, their wedding– on Aug. 10 at the top of Snowbird Resort.
One small misstep: There was a massive rain storm leading up to their site and the roadway was closed due to a mud slide.
About 30 minutes before the wedding, the path resumed.
” Similar to in our adventures, there were obstacles thrown at us and we had to make contingency plans,” he composed on Instagram. “There were minutes of distress and worry, however Caroline remained calm and handled the hardship extremely well.”
No time for a honeymoon, however. A bike flight waited for. He started on Aug. 30 from Anacortes, Washington, and got a blowout right away.
Gleich followed along in a support automobile (Lea’s mother took over when Gleich had to go back to work). They remained in motels in the evening, where they planned the next day’s ride.
” The bike ride crushed me,” Lea stated. “Every time I had a great day, the next day was very hard.”
On Oct. 7– day No. 39– he reached his destination of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Standing in the water, he held his pink Specialized bike over his head to celebrate. Later on, he split open a beer.
” I’m sort of speechless,” he composed on Instagram. “I’m overjoyed and sort of emotional.”
Commemorating simply as much that day was Gleich.
Through this undertaking, they wanted to raise awareness for gender equality. It’s troubled Lea that he ‘d be out snowboarding with Gleich and everybody assumed he was the guide and not her.
” Rob doing his alternate world triathlon isn’t going to straight change the world,” Gleich said. “Riding your bike, swimming and climbing mountains, they have just an actually amazing power to bring individuals together. It’s an excellent starting point to discuss bigger issues.”
Lea’s currently mulling over another experience. Perhaps ski the biggest mountain in Antarctica with Gleich?
It’s a thought for later on.
” I simply need a bit more time for reflection,” Lea said.
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