Round-the-World Triathlete Completes 5,000km Run Leg

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

Jonas Deichmann started his round the world triathlon in September 2020. He has just completed his third leg — a 5,000km run across Mexico.

He began by swimming 456km along the coast of Croatia in 54 days. Swimming is his weakest of the three disciplines. “I don’t want to do it again,” he admitted.

Although his specialty is cycling, he had to draw on all his experience during his 17,000km ride across the Balkans, Turkey, and Russia to Vladivostok.

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

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

Deichmann completed that bike leg in May but found himself stuck in Vladivostok. Finding a boat to Mexico was “practically impossible”. His plan had been to catch a lift on a cargo ship, 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 this had its logistical difficulties. His flight routed via Tokyo and there was a strong chance that he would get stranded there. But in the end, he reached Mexico.

The journey so far. Image: jonasdeichmann.com

After two days of preparation, he began his run in Tijuana. Over 117 days, he ran 5,060km, pulling a 20-kilogram cart with his supplies and gear. He ran roughly 45km each day and tried to keep a pace of six to seven-minute kilometres. If he noticed himself going faster, he deliberately slowed down, to maintain “consistency, not speed”. He completed his run in Cancun on October 5.

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

In the first few days of the run, he struggled in the 40˚C  temperatures. He adapted to avoid the hottest hours of the day. He began early, took a long midday break, then started running again in the afternoon.

Besides the heat, pulling his trailer up “long steep mountains” was his greatest challenge. In all, his run had an elevation gain of 45,000m.

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

Deichmann gained a huge following in Mexico. Running clubs and solo runners joined him for sections of his journey. Even the police department in Juchitan got involved. Sometimes, over 100 runners accompanied him.

“I love the company…but there are also days when it is just a bit too much,” he admitted on Instagram. “Running alone can be very nice. Ideally, I like a few days company and then a few days alone.”

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

Photo: @jonas_deichmann

After 11 pairs of running shoes, three flat tires, and eight kilograms lighter than when he left Tijuana, Deichmann is now resting in Cancun. He is using the time to work out the logistics for his final leg, a 4,000km cycle from Portugal to Munich. He is now looking for a boat that can take him across the Atlantic.

Since this is hurricane season, the only realistic option is a cargo ship. “My beloved bicycle Esposa is already waiting in Europe and will be ready whenever I arrive in Portugal,” he said.

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About the Author

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca is a freelance writer and science teacher based in the UK.

She is a keen traveler and has been lucky enough to backpack her way around Africa, South America, and Asia. With a background in marine biology, she is interested in everything to do with the oceans and aims to dive and open-water swim in as many seas as possible.

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

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