AUSTRALIA'S LONGEST QUADRATHLON
On September 10th 2018 Tom Dunn stood at Cape York, the northernmost point of the Australian mainland.
On the 8th of December 2018 he stood at South Point, the southernmost point of the Australian mainland.
In the 92 days between those two moments Tom rode, ran, swam and kayaked his way to his finish line. Covering an incredible total of 4,973km.
Tom's attempt at completing 'Australia's Longest Triathlon' proved to be the biggest challenge for him so far, both physically and mentally. Time after time he was given reason to stop, and time after time he continued to push on.
Starting the journey with a chest infection, straining his quad in the first 10 days, getting food poisoning in Cairns, escaping serious storms on the NSW border, crossing the Great Dividing Range, having to ride 600km in 4 days to hold schedule, running across a freeway, running along active train tracks, running almost 200km in 4 days on rations... completing the entire journey in a single pair of socks after losing his spare pair on Day 1.
Throughout all of this, Tom was completing the journey entirely self supported. This meant every day was spent alone as he carried all his belongings with him, and at the end of a long day he would still have to find food and accomodation. Eating regularly from petrol stations and roadhouses, and sleeping in parks, rest stops and behind public toilets, the trip was far from glamorous but Tom continued his way south.
Ultimately bad weather brought change to the original plan. As Tom tried to swim his exhausted body and mind across the Gippsland lakes (still towing his belongings, now in a homemade raft) the conditions became unsafe to continue alone. With the weather predicted to remain the same for potentially another month Tom was faced with an option; adapt or stop. So close to the finish and not quite willing to give up just yet, the Triathlon became a 'Quadrathlon'. Tom dragged his body into a kayak and paddled across the Gippsland Lakes before completing an Ironman distance of swimming, cycling, and running to get to Wilsons Promontory.
The final moments of the trip were bitter sweet. To have come so close and yet not quite complete the trip the way it was planned was heartbreaking. Yet the lessons from this trip were plentiful and Tom has taken it upon himself to use the experience of this trip to ensure future endeavors are more successful.
This page would like to acknowledge the many people's who are the traditional custodians of the land traveled through during this journey, and pay respects to the Elders, past, present, and emerging.