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LONDON, 2 July 2019 – At 02:00 am London time, four Kazakh triathletes – Elfira Dudnik, Yelena Kun, Madina Kurmanbayeva and Anel Sytdykova – started the Enduroman Arch to Arc extreme ultra-triathlon.
The Iron Moms KZ team aims to cover a distance of 480 km, which starts at the Marble Arch in London and ends at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The sequence of stages is also non-standard: the athletes first run from London to Dover (140 km), then swim through the English Channel (approximately 36 km) and then cycle to Paris (290 km).
This is the first attempt from Kazakhstan in the history of the triathlon, which makes it exciting for both the participants and their fans. The Iron Moms believe that their training and extensive experience of participating in difficult triathlon races will help them achieve their common goal.
In order to register with Arch to Arc, athletes had to have experience in running, swimming and cycling for long distances and confirm everything with documents. They also had to pass a six-hour swimming test in water with a temperature below 16 degrees Celsius.
The triathlon start time depended on the weather conditions in the English Channel. The participants did not know the exact start time almost until the last moment. The organisers of the triathlon gave a notice to the team 20 hours before the start of the competition.
“The demand for the triathlon is very high, and registered athletes sometimes have to wait for their turn for a year or two. The rules are pretty tough – the referee accompanies the athletes along the entire route. And the athlete is not allowed to touch the boat during the swim. The recovery period before the cycling stage is not to exceed 12 hours, " said Mrs. Kun.
The ultra-triathlon routes are very difficult: the running and cycling routes run parallel to the city traffic, which makes the athletes' job even more difficult and increases the level of risk. The low water temperature in the English Channel promises to make this stage of the tournament one of the most difficult swimming marathons in the lives of Kazakhstan women.
Despite the late hour, Kazakh supporters came to see the triathletes off with Kazakhstan's flags. They believe that their courageous compatriots will successfully overcome all the obstacles on their route and write their names in the history of Kazakh sports.