A round-the-world triathlete finishes the 5,000 km race stage »Explorersweb


Jonas Deichmann started his triathlon around the world in September 2020. He has just completed his third stage, a 5,000 km race through Mexico.

He started by swimming 456 km along the Croatian coast in 54 days. Swimming is its weakest of the three disciplines. “I don’t want to start over,” he admitted.

Although his specialty is cycling, he must have drawn on all his experience during his 17,000 km journey through the Balkans, Turkey and Russia to Vladivostok.

“The Russian winter makes the life of a cyclist a fierce experience,” he said.

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

Deichmann completed this stage by bike in May but got stuck in Vladivostok. Finding a ship for Mexico was “virtually impossible”. His plan was to take an elevator on a freighter, but because of Covid-19, none allowed passengers.

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

Eventually, he only had a few days before his Russian visa ran out. He had to fly to Mexico, something he had wanted to avoid. Even that had its logistical difficulties. His flight was passing through Tokyo and there was a good chance he would get stuck there. But in the end, he reached Mexico.

The trip so far. Image: jonasdeichmann.com

After two days of preparation, he started his race in Tijuana. In 117 days, he traveled 5,060 km, pulling a 20-kilogram cart with his supplies and equipment. He ran about 45 km each day and tried to maintain a pace of six to seven minutes. If he noticed he was going faster, he would deliberately slow down, to maintain “consistency, not speed.” He finished his race in Cancun on October 5.

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

In the early days of the race, he struggled in temperatures of 40˚C. He adapted to avoid the hottest hours of the day. He started early, took a long break at noon, then started running again in the afternoon.

Besides the heat, towing his trailer over “long, steep mountains” was his biggest challenge. In total, his race had a positive elevation of 45,000 m.

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

Deichmann gained huge success in Mexico. Racing clubs and solo runners have joined him for parts of his journey. Even the Juchitan Police Department got involved. Sometimes more than 100 runners accompanied him.

“I love the business … but there are also days when it’s just a little too much,” he admitted on Instagram. “Running alone can be very enjoyable. Ideally, I like to spend a few days in company, then a few days alone.

Deichmann had assumed that as a cyclist he would enjoy the cycling sections, but Siberian weather took its toll. Although running was “a lot harder on my body”, he’s enjoyed his time in Mexico the most so far.

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

After 11 pairs of running shoes, three punctures and eight kilos less than when he left Tijuana, Deichmann is now resting in Cancun. He took the opportunity to prepare the logistics for his last stage, a 4,000 km cycle from Portugal to Munich. He is now looking for a boat capable of taking him across the Atlantic.

Since it’s hurricane season, the only realistic option is a freighter. “My beloved bike Esposa is already waiting in Europe and will be ready every time I arrive in Portugal, ”he said.

About the Author

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca is a UK-based freelance writer and science teacher.

She is a great traveler and has had the good fortune to backpack Africa, South America and Asia. With a background in marine biology, she is interested in everything related to the oceans and aims to dive and swim in open water in as many seas as possible.

His areas of expertise include open water sports, marine wildlife and adventure travel.

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