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Horsham adventurer Tom Dunn sets off on Australia’s Longest Triathlon challenge

READY TO RIDE: Horsham’s Tom Dunn prepares for the first leg of his Australia’s Longest Triathlon challenge, at the northernmost point of Australia, Cape York.

READY TO RIDE: Horsham’s Tom Dunn prepares for the first leg of his Australia’s Longest Triathlon challenge, at the northernmost point of Australia, Cape York.


By SARAH SCULLY
Horsham’s Tom Dunn was yet to attempt a triathlon before embarking on Australia’s longest version of the multi-sport event on Sunday.
Despite feeling nervous about the epic task awaiting him, the young adventurer and advocate did not seem particularly fussed about the gruelling physical challenge ahead.
“It sounds silly, but a triathlon isn’t that hard – you run for a bit, ride a bike, go for a swim,” Mr Dunn said.
“It’s simple in terms of the basic concept. I haven’t done a lot of training but because it’s not a race and I don’t have a time limit, so I see it as an opportunity to get fit as I go.
“For me, the hardest part is being mentally fit and ready.
“I found with my previous trips the mental challenge was tougher than the physical one.
“Luckily, I have practice with loneliness. I know during this trip as well, the physical can be overcome with mental strength.”
Mr Dunn’s latest challenge is a 4825-kilometre journey from top to bottom of the Australian main land.
From Queensland’s Cape York to Victoria’s Wilson’s Promontory, his journey is equal to 90 standard Olympic triathlons.
His cycle leg is longer than the average Tour De France, the run leg further than 22 marathons and the swim is greater than four crossings of the English Channel.  
Adventurer Tom Dunn is gearing up for his next adventure. ph Tom 0438 489 897

Adventurer Tom Dunn is gearing up for his next adventure.


For most, embarking on a 4825-kilometre triathlon from one end of Australia to the other is a trip of a lifetime.
But at 23, Mr Dunn has already accomplished more than many will ever dream of.
At 19, Mr Dunn completed a 2200-kilometre kayak journey down the Murray River, raising almost $15,000 for Aurora Early Intervention Centre for Deaf and Blind.
In January 2017, he started a world-first stand-up paddle board journey the length of Australia’s longest river system.
The mammoth effort raised more than $80,000 for Deaf Children Australia.
In April this year, Mr Dunn challenged himself on a 21-day unsupported, unguided trek from the original trailhead of Everest Base Camp to raise awareness of human trafficking.
In all, his ‘advocacy through adventure’ focus has raised $97,000 for projects close to his heart.
Mr Dunn said he hoped completing Australia’s longest triathlon would push his total out to triple figures.
The money will go to Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, which provides educational opportunities for indigenous youth from across rural and regional Australia.
Each year, 22 boys and girls – about year-seven age – live at the MITS boarding house in Richmond while attending school at Richmond Football Club.
Their curriculum focuses on literacy and numeracy and at the end of the year, the students move into scholarship positions at Melbourne partner schools.
MITS aims to provide a warm, home-style environment that celebrates culture and understands the challenges of transitioning from a small community to a big city.
Mr Dunn was working as a surf instructor in Geelong when he first learnt of MITS and its work.
Students from the school attended one of his classes, striking a chord with the instructor.
“I spoke to a few teachers, found out more about the school and its achievements and became inspired,” Mr Dunn said.
“What they are doing is pretty fantastic and it’s good to be able to use attention from my journey to shine a light on them.
“It costs $20,000 for a student to come to the school for a year so if I can raise $20,000 I know I’ve helped one student with their schooling.”
First time
Mr Dunn hopes to complete his challenge in 90 days, finishing in Wilsons Promontory in early December.
He said he was excited to see parts of Australia for the first time.
“I’ve never been further north than Brisbane, so I’m looking forward to that,” he said.
“One of the exciting parts is that this trip is self-supported. I have had a support crew for the others but I wanted to challenge myself a bit more this time – I guess I’ll soon find out how that goes.
“Yes, it’s daunting, but it’s liberating. There are no limits. You’re completely reliant on yourself.”
Mr Dunn said he hoped to interact with people on the way, particularly when ‘the boredom kicks in’.
“I am encouraging people to ride, run or swim beside me, or pull over on the side of the road to say hi,” he said.
“It would be lovely to have a chat with people.”
Mr Dunn will source his food from restaurants, cafes and petrol stations and will ‘curl up on the side of the road for a rest’ when he tires.
“I’ll be carrying a sleeping mat with me. It won’t be glamorous, but it’ll do the job,” he said.
He will carry all his equipment in bike bags for the cycling leg, a small backpack during the running phase and pull a small kayak while swimming.
Mr Dunn said his previous feats had given him the confidence to attempt his latest challenge.
“A motto I’ve started to run with is that anyone can do anything if they’re given an opportunity,” he said.
“If people have confidence in themselves they can go out and achieve anything.”
• People can stay up to date with Mr Dunn’s attempt at Australia’s longest triathlon online at www.whattomhas
dunn.com or by searching whattomhasdunn on Facebook or Instagram.

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Posted on Sep 12 2018

Posted by on Sep 12 2018. Filed under Community, FEATURED, Health & Lifestyle, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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