Swim, Bike, Run Europe: An Introduction
Once-in-a-lifetime trips should happen more than once in a lifetime.
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Professional triathlete Will Kelsay and his partner Jennifer Fredrickson will be traveling around Europe competing in XTERRA races for the next 20 weeks, and they’re sharing their journey with Triathlete.com. In addition to chronicling their adventures, they hope to inspire age-groupers to take on new challenges. Check back every Wednesday for updates from the road.
Once-in-a-lifetime trips should happen more than once in a lifetime; that’s my philosophy, and the reason why I’m traveling around Europe this summer with my partner Jennifer in an RV for four and a half months to race off-road triathlons. It all started with a preposterous idea, and now it’s really happening. We are doing something absurd and we hope our stories will inspire others to create their own triathlon adventures too.
This summer, we’ll travel through Europe visiting 18 countries to race 10 XTERRA off-road triathlons and participate in a 50K ultra run. We’ll share our stories with you as we race, experience the local culture, sightsee and find unique, adrenaline pumping thrills, such as mountain biking in the Pyrenees, sea kayaking in Croatia, cliff diving in Greece and much more.
Here is our full race schedule:
- April 26: Lost Worlds – Tuscany Crossing (Tuscany, Italy)
- May 25: XTERRA Spain Championship (Cieza, Murcia, Spain)
- June 1: XTERRA Portugal Championship (Golga, Portugal)
- June 21: XTERRA Greece Championship (Lake Plastira, Greece)
- June 28: XTERRA Switzerland Championship (Les Charbonnieres)
- July 6: XTERRA France Championship (Xonrupt, France)
- July 20: XTERRA Ireland Championship (Killaloe, Ireland)
- July 26: XTERRA Italy Championship (Abruzzo, Italy)
- August 9: XTERRA Czech Championship (Prachatice, Czech Rep.)
- August 16: XTERRA Germany Championship (Zittau, Germany)
- August 31: XTERRA Denmark Championship (Tisvilde, Denmark)
We kicked the trip off this past Sunday. We left our home in Boulder, Colo. in the same mad scramble that everyone makes the week before going on a long trip. (Okay, maybe we left a bit more scrambled than others because we decided to remodel our kitchen the same week we left, ended up getting no sleep, and packed only a few hours before it was time to go!) On our flight to Amsterdam, by way of Iceland, we traveled so far north we saw the sun set in a fiery, red blaze, and then rise again less than three hours later (see the picture above).
After witnessing that spectacular sight, it truly hit us that our crazy plan is now a reality. While picking up our van that we’ll be living in all summer, we were able to spend a couple of days in Utrecht, Netherlands. We have been in total awe of this incredible bike-friendly town. EVERYONE rides bikes here and in the parking lots there are bikes as far as the eye can see. If you love riding your bike, this is definitely a town to visit.
Our next stop is Tuscany, Italy to run a 50K ultra trail run (31 miles). For Jennifer this will be her first 50K, while this will be my longest run since a bike accident in August of 2013. Next week we’ll share how emotionally difficult and physically painful an ultra run is, but also explain why you should totally do one. The Tuscan countryside is bound to provide some breathtaking pictures for us to share with you as well.
So check in to Triathlete.com every Wednesday to follow our story for the next 20 weeks.
More About Will
Will Kelsay is a professional off-road triathlete who, for the past nine years, has traveled the world racing and tackling epic adventures. A charismatic, unstoppable thrill-seeker and expert in off-road triathlon, he has created a reputation for living life to the fullest as a pro off-road triathlete. In 2007, he chronicled his three-month race travels across the USA in an old RV and in 2011 he circled the globe on a world tour documenting every step of the way. He is sponsored by TriSports, Altra Running, Breeze Bars, Nathan Sports, Rudy Project, Outdoor Tech, Skratch Labs and MinuteKey.