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06. November 2019

Rait Ratasepp: The Fastest Man in the World to Complete 40 Triathlons in 40 Days

Overcoming mental and physical barriers the ultra-athlete Rait Ratasepp has finished 40 triathlons within 40 days and total time of 444hrs 21min 35s, making him the fastest man of the 20-, 30-, and 40-time Ultra Triathlons in daily format. Throughout those 40 days he has swam 152km, cycled 7200km, and ran 1688km. By completing the 40-time Ultra Triathlon Rait Ratasepp has proven that, given the dedication and careful planning, human abilities are limitless.  

Since the official World Records are only set for the 20- and 30-time Ultra Triathlons in daily format, Ratasepp decided to organize his own event of a 40-time ultra-triathlon distance in Fuerteventura, Spain. After a year of event preparations, mental and physical conditioning, he has significantly improved three World Records. 

The previous 20-time Ultra Triathlon record of 241hrs 36min 45s was set by Norbert Lüftenegger in 2019. The Estonian ultra-athlete broke Lüftenegger’s record by 16hrs 4min 4s. 

The 30-time Ultra Triathlon record of 356hrs 33min 17s was set by Jozsef Rokob in 2013. Once again, Ratasepp broke the record by 22hrs 25min 57s, finishing within 334hrs 7min 20s.  

Prior to Ratasepp only two men in the world have completed a solo-event of a 40-time Ultra Triathlon in daily format. James Lawrence (USA) completed 50 triathlons, in 50 days, in 50 different states, and Ludovic Chorgnon (France) completed 41 triathlons, in 41 days. However, James Lawrence 50 triathlons are not comparable to others because he deliberately did not follow the basic rules of long distance triathlon (he was drafting on the bike, used some point an elliptical trainer etc) and WADA rules (IV infusions and/or injections are prohibited by WADA rules as a banned method). On average, Lawrence finished one triathlon within 14hrs and Chorgnon within 13hrs. Whereas, Ratasepp’s overall average finish time was only 11hrs 06min 32s, making him the fastest man of all of the three distances. 

Within the 40-day challenge Ratasepp improved his 3.8km swimming record on day one (1hr 11min 49s), 180km cycling record on day 32 (5hrs 47min), and marathon record on day 33 (3hrs 12min 33s). His lowest average heart rate during cycling and running were 99 and 108 BPM, respectively.  

The Fuerteventura Island with its landscape and climate provides one of the most difficult conditions for an ultra-triathlon. Fuerteventura lies side-by-side with Lanzarote, an island that hosts the World’s toughest Ironman competition. Each day Ratasepp had to ascend 2079m on a bicycle, resulting in the equivalent of conquering nine Mount Everests (83,160m) in 40 days. Not to mention the violent winds. 

Finish times of 40 ultra-triathlons in 40 consecutive days:

Day 1: 10:44:52; Day 2: 10:58:12; Day 3: 11:04:20; Day 4: 11:06:03; Day 5: 11:21:49;
Day 6: 11:45:22; Day 7: 11:30:06; Day 8: 11:38:49; Day 9: 11:27:01; Day 10: 11:19:23;
Day 11:
11:21:32; Day 12: 11:29:53; Day 13: 11:20:45; Day 14: 11:06:46; Day 15: 11:19:10;
Day 16: 10:59:43; Day 17: 11:15:29; Day 18: 11:20:10; Day 19: 11:21:20; Day 20: 11:01:56;
Day 21: 10:59:39; Day 22: 11:17:56; Day 23: 10:51:56; Day 24: 10:36:59, Day 25: 10:51:44;
Day 26: 10:39:34; Day 27: 10:44:27; Day 28: 10:34:48, Day 29: 10:59:45, Day 30: 10:57:52,
Day 31: 10:44:26; Day 32: 10:28:27; Day 33: 10:39:21; Day 34: 10:52:02; Day 35: 10:58:23,
Day 36: 10:58:27, Day 37: 10:53:42; Day 38: 10:59:47; Day 39: 11:39:26; Day 40: 12:00:02. 

See also the 40-time Ultra Triathlon statistics by disciplines and days:

Team Ratasepp’s Top Sponsors this season are Ferroline Grupp, Saku GO, Saint Gobain, Škoda Tallinn and Playitas Resort.

Photos Jakob Meier.