Endurance events provide the toughest tests. Often the loneliest adventures, the task ahead of those brave enough to take on the challenge can seem never-ending, but it is in these moments that we often find out just how strong the human spirit can be. This year, we have written about numerous inspirational sportspeople, all of whom have battled against the odds and achieved incredible endurance feats. These are our top five...
The marathon running four-year-old
Budhia Singh had run 48 marathons by the age of four. Read that again! It’s staggering. The Indian prodigy shot to fame in the mid 2000s as a child who was in love with long-distance running. Now all grown up, he has his sights set on the 2024 Olympics. He will need to raise funding to get there, but if his achievements as a child are anything to go by, don’t be surprised to see him take to the start line in Paris. Read our full story on the boy wonder here.
The fastest woman on two wheels
Emily Chappell is nothing short of a cycling superstar. The British woman became the fastest woman to complete The Transcontinental Race back in 2016 and has continued pushing the barriers of endurance cycling ever since. That Transcontinental Race is brutal. It’s 4,000km of racing across Europe in difficult conditions, but the course was eaten up by Chappell in less than two weeks. We managed to speak to her and this is her remarkable story in full.
The free diver who can hold his breath for seven minutes
How long can you hold your breath for? Go on, try it now. 30 seconds? One minute? Well French freediver Arnauld Jerald can almost certainly beat you. Seven minutes is how long the world record diver can hold his breath for. And perhaps even impressively he can also dive 112 metres underwater, where the pressure forces your lungs into the size of an orange, on one single breath. We just had to speak to him and he told us all about his experiences, from hearing whale songs to playing with dolphins. You can read the interview here.
The climber who scaled El Capitan in 24 hours
El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is the Mecca for all serious climbers. The 3000ft of sheer rock face provides the perfect test for any elite athlete willing to put it all on the line in this unforgiving place. Emily Harrington, a Colorado native, became the first woman to successfully climb the notorious Golden Gate route in less than 24 hours. This is her extraordinary tale.
The man who climbed Everest, partied for a week, then climbed it again
Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja is a superhero when it comes to scaling mountains. In fact, in 2019, he set out to break a world record and reach the summit of the world’s 14 tallest mountains in record time. The previous record stood at just under seven years, but Nims completed the challenge in just 189 days. He spoke to The Sportsman and recounted his incredible story.