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While clocking the world’s fastest triathlon remains the golden standard in the sport, there are plenty of people who aren’t named Kristian or Kat who have made their way into the record books for various—and wacky—ways. Here are four individual achievements that may not be super-speedy—but are just as impressive.
The Record: The most triathlons by an individual*
A SWCS event would not be complete with out "Captain America" – Flip Lyle
Who: James “Flip” Lyle
When: March 18, 2006
Guinness World Records credits Lyle with the mark for racking up the most triathlons at 289, which he has since surpassed (by 2012, he was up to 301, and was still competing recently, winning a race in the 70-75 age-group). Lyle, who played football at Georgia Tech, first took up running while deployed during the Korean War, and later carried his love for endurance sports into triathlon in the 1980s, taking it all the way to the Ironman World Championships in the 90s.
*Lyle may have been the first person to have officially documented completing 289 triathlons of any distance, however there are others out there who have likely competed in more, but have not been verified by Guinness.
The Record: The first woman to juggle a complete triathlon
Who: Trish Evans
Juggling life’s various demands is nothing new to most multi-tasking triathletes, but Evans took that to the next level by actually juggling her way through a race. Evans, who, along with her husband, Bob, have set several juggling records, is said to be the first woman to continuously juggle while swimming (“swuggling”), biking on a unicycle (“unijuggling”), and running (“joggling”) throughout a triathlon. Evans, who has run a 19:46 5K and a 42:43 10K while joggling with three balls, is often featured displaying her acrobatic talents on her husband’s.
RELATED: Recalled: The Juggling Triathlete
The Record: Longest single-event triathlon
Who: Steven Green
When: August 13, 2022
This recently-set record reflects Green’s solo effort of a seven-mile swim, 181-mile bike, and 46-mile run, mostly done in loops around his home town of Redcar, in the U.K. Green, 45, put together the stunt to raise money for charity, and rallied his community as he swam, biked, and ran for 30 hours on one of the hottest days of the year. With Guinness officials carefully monitoring his moves, Green was not allowed to rest for five minutes at a time throughout the ordeal, and at one point briefly collapsed in pain and exhaustion before carrying on and completing the 226-mile challenge.
The Record: Fastest time to complete the World Bog Snorkeling Triathlon Championship (female)
Who: Jessica Smith
When: August 25, 2018
In the obscure sport of bog snorkeling triathlon, athletes run 7.5 miles, don flippers, a mask and fins to snorkel two lengths of a 135-foot long, six-foot deep peat bog trench, and then cycle 19 miles across mountain terrain in the countryside of Wales. In 2018, Smith did just that in record time, crossing the line in 2 hours, 45 minutes, and 30 seconds as the fastest women ever in the event. Smith’s record may soon be under threat: This weekend, the town of Llanwrtyd Wells once again hosts the world bog snorkeling triathlon champs, which also includes a wife-carrying—and a husband-dragging—competition.
RELATED: World Records For the Rest of Us