FanDuel - WFBC

July 15, 2011

Extreme Athlete Invents World Triathlon: In words and video, ESPN presents the story of Charlie Wittmack, an extreme sportsman who invented the World Triathlon -- swimming the English Channel; riding 9,000 miles from the spot to Calcutta, India; running 1,000 miles to Mount Everest; then climbing the mountain -- all so he could be the first person to do it. "This is the new marathon, the new Ironman. This is what people are going to strive to do," he said a year ago. "We're setting the groundwork for history." See if you think the price paid by his wife and young son is worth it.

posted by rcade to extreme at 05:00 PM - 12 comments

Pure freaking idiocy. But that's just my personal opinion.

posted by graymatters at 05:26 PM on July 15

I'd like to comment, but legitimately I can't, because I couldn't even watch the whole thing.

posted by outonleave at 06:48 PM on July 15

I tried not to look at the whole enterprise as selfish and arbitrary, since somebody has to be the first to do something and inspire the world to follow suit. But when he lost his financing and decided to ride without a support or security team through dodgy places like Kyrgyzstan, he's just being a reckless idiot.

His wife said of Everest that the thought he'd die there and be dragged off the mountain horrified her. Did she know he might die and be left up there? I wonder how well she understands the risk.

He came home with $100,000 in law school debt and his law firm had moved on without him, so he's got some issues there as well.

posted by rcade at 06:52 PM on July 15

What an idiot. Must of thought some sponsor was going to jump on board and make him rich if he could do it and live. Just insane to do something this extreme.

posted by ic23b at 08:18 PM on July 15

I tried not to look at the whole enterprise as selfish and arbitrary, since somebody has to be the first to do something and inspire the world to follow suit.

Doesn't that rather depend on whether there's any point or useful purpose to be served in doing it? I'm not about to be the first person to eat a bale of tarantulas and inspire the world to follow suit. I'd be an idiot to do it, and if I did, you'd be an idiot to copy me. Just because something has never been done before doesn't mean there's any "has to" about it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:51 PM on July 15

He stopped a bit too soon, really. He should continued on to:
1) solve the Kashmir problem;
2) stopped a column of tanks armed with two bags of groceries;
3) completely cleaned up the Fukushima site;
and
4) hugged a polar bear at the North Pole.

posted by NoMich at 11:06 PM on July 15

His website is dripping with self-delusion.

Look, I understand the need to achieve things and the desire to break free of the mundane, corporate life. What I do not understand is putting your wife and child in financial peril so you can achieve an arbitrary goal that you just made up and named "The World Triathlon."

Considering the lack of forethought (what corporate sponsor in their right mind is going to jump on board something this reckless), the best thing for his wife and kid might've been that he died; now, they don't have a home, they have oodles of debt, and they have a husband and father who's likely looking for his next chance to take this kind of risk with his life and theirs.

He has an addiction, by every definition of the word, and as is the case with addiction, the people around him are put through the ringer for it.

posted by dfleming at 08:54 AM on July 16

If this is some new Iron Man as he says, what's the time to beat?

posted by graymatters at 11:04 AM on July 16

to ride without a support or security team through dodgy places like Kyrgyzstan

Actually, that would have been one of the safest parts of his trip. I'm writing this from Uzbekistan next door, and there are lots of lone cyclists and trailbikers passing through without apparent danger other than heat exhaustion.

I'm not about to be the first person to eat a bale of tarantulas

And you wouldn't be. The World Food Program adds spiders (part of the local diet) to their school meals in Cambodia as an excellent source of vitamins.

Now that I've got those out of the way, I agree he's an idiot.

posted by owlhouse at 05:01 AM on July 17

I said tarantulas, not spiders. Are they eating tarantulas? Are they eating a bale of tarantulas? No? Didn't think so.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:33 PM on July 17

She told you so there!

/sticking tongue out

posted by BornIcon at 03:34 PM on July 18

Well, yes, it turns out they do eat tarantulas, and from the looks of this picture, a bale of them is not out of the question.

The article compares eating the spiders to eating a crab, with this note: The crab comparison ends at the abdomen, where a mouthful of gooey nuttinessfollowed by a musty, somewhat rude finishawaits the snacker. It's not quite an acquired taste; either you like it, or you will forever avoid it.

yeah, put me down in that forever avoid it crowd.

posted by dviking at 04:48 PM on July 18

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.