Abhejali Bernardova (44, Czech Republic) of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team completed an extreme ultra-triathlon from Dover to Prague, during which she covered a total of 1111 km across the 3 disciplines: 34 km swimming, 895 km cycling, 182 km running. It took her 7 days, 12 hours and 5 minutes.
She started on Monday September 13 2021 at 3am from Dover. In very challenging conditions, with the wind at force 5, she swam the English Channel in 15 hours and 33 minutes. The only other successful crossing on the same day was a 5-person relay team. It was her last chance to swim this year and the swim had already been postponed a few times.
Restrictions did not allow her to stay in France, so she had to take a detour back to Dover and then take a ferry to France. She then cycled from Calais to her hometown of Cheb, near the Czech/German border.
The cycling leg, which took her 4 days, was approximately 900 kilometres through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. She arrived in Cheb on Saturday afternoon, then ran 182km to Prague, arriving on Monday afternoon. Her daily average was 220km cycling and 2 marathons running.
The Czech athlete successfully completed her first English Channel swim 10 years ago. In 2018 she became the 1st Czech, the 10th person in the world, 4th woman and the 1st person from a landlocked country to complete the Oceans Seven*, seven difficult long-distance swims around the world. She is also the only Czech holder of the Triple Crown** of long-distance swimming.
With her ultra-triathlon she aims to connect people and places and inspire others to break down and cross barriers in their own lives. If she can go from the UK to the Czech Republic under her own steam, then we really are closer to each other than we realise, we just put up unnecessary walls between us. She also tries to inspire others to overcome their own limits and show that these limits are often self-created.
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- Her love for swimming in the ocean
- Wanting to share her adventures
- Her childhood and growing up in the Czech Republic
- Learning to swim in Russia
- Not coming from a sports family
- Hearing about the English Channel
- Starting meditation at 18 years old with Sri Chinmoy
- Wanting to know herself better
- Wanting to step outside her comfort zone
- Going to university and getting into running
- Going after longer and longer distances
- Running a marathon doing laps
- “I can do more”
- Swimming the English Channel in 2011
- Getting into flow while swimming
- Completing the Oceans 7 Challenge in 2018
- Coping with the cold water
- Taking cold showers in the morning
- Being scared by sharks
- Beautiful moments while swimming
- Advice for going further with swimming
- Tips and advice for recovery
- Sleeping for 7 hrs a night
- Being a Peace Ultra Runner
- The Peace Run
- Loving the 24hrs races
- When it gets difficult on the 24hr races
- Deciding on a new challenge
- The logistical challenges of putting the plan together
- Being dependant on the weather for the swim
- The training involved to get physically ready for the challenge
- How her body has changed from 34 to 44
- Needing more time to recover
- Finishing in Prague
- “I can do it - I have already done it”
- Use your imagination even while training to tell yourself you can do it
- Why you should DREAM BIG!!!
- Future dream challenges
- Adventure blues….
- Thank you to Abhejali