Gemma Sharples achieved a Guinness World Record by completing the longest single event triathlon in a gruelling 30-hour circuit.
Redcar born Gemma was aiming to beat the existing world record set by her own partner, Steven Green, in August of 2022.
The stretch consisted of a 7.2 mile swim in open water, followed by a 186 miles bike ride and then a 46.8 mile run straight after, only allowed for a maximum of five minutes rest at any time during the challenge.
Together with her colleague Will Davis, she began the triathlon at Ellerton Park lake at 6am on Friday for the swim before cycling from Ellerton to Redcar. The running route took them through Redcar until they concluded their race on the seafront at TunedIn.
Speaking in the build up, Gemma said: “I just believe that if you have the right mindset, and you’re prepared to push yourself, anything is possible.
“I am prepared to see how far I can push myself.”
Gemma described how she “couldn’t really swim” before partaking in regular lessons in Sunderland helped build up her confidence and endurance in waters.
Several gruelling training sessions swimming, cycling and running – most of which were early starts – planted questions in her mind of why she was doing what she set out to do, but a line of Redcar residents, family members and friends cheering her to the finishing line made it a sweet victory.
Speaking after the record was achieved, Gemma said: “It’s crazy to think I couldn’t swim front crawl six months ago also couldn’t cycle on the roads clipped in without falling off my bike.
“Anything is possible when you put your mind to it and add discipline.