Athlete of the Month - Mayank Vaid
Athlete of the Month - Mayank Vaid25 Dec 2020
Athlete of the Month
the first person to complete the HK360Xtreme
Over the weekend of 6th November 2020 HKFC’s own Mayank Vaid became the first person to complete the HK360Xtreme. A gruelling triple-stage circumnavigation race consisting of a 45km swim, 215km cycle and 100km Run around HK island. Mayank Vaid, a Hong Kong based lawyer, completed the challenge over three days and nights starting on Friday 6th November at 1.15am at Kennedy Town and finished 70 hours, 19 minutes and 53 seconds later in Sai Wan.
Although a seasoned triathlete, who has competed in numerous extreme triathlons including Ultraman and Run the Rann, and set the world record for the Enduroman Arch to Arc Triathlon, the longest point-to-point triathlon, the HK360Xtreme came with its own set of unique challenges and obstacles. He faced three date changes due to a busy typhoon season in the South China Sea, on top of an injury just days before, to his foot that required 6 stitches. That was before he even jumped into the 21 degree water for the 18 hour swim which caused a host of digestive issues that impacted his ability to properly take in nutrients during the rest of the race.
Along the way though, Mayank was inspired by the community that rallied around him on every step of the journey Both friends and strangers came out to support him. He also had a great crew that joined him for various parts of the race.
Mayank not only challenged himself to complete the HK360Xtreme, but also to raise HKD$360,000 for Inspiring HK Sports Foundation and Outward Bound Hong Kong. Two charities which provide underprivileged youth the opportunity to experience the joy of outdoor sports while also assisting local sports coaches and students affected by COVID-19 due to closure of sports grounds and classes.
Interview with Mayank Vaid
What inspired you to take on HK360Xtreme?
There are very few circumnavigation swims in the world and HK360 is one of them. It’s also a technical swim. It’s an unassisted swim following the English Channel rules. I didn’t have to travel to another city to do something similar. And sea temperature is not as cold as other swims. All of this really got me interested. And then I thought adding a bike and a run after the swim will make it novel as well as tough. When I suggested this to Shu Pu, HK360 organiser and race director, she was all excited. And HK360Xtreme was born. Events like these catch the attention of corporates who want to make a difference. So, I approached Mercedes-Benz, Reckitt Benckisser Move Free and Redbull. They came on board. We chose Inspiring HK Sports Foundation and Outward Bound as the charities. Together we raised HKD$385,000 to support Sports Coaches affected by closure of sports venues due to Covid-19. This event had a great purpose for everyone who got involved.
How did you train for HK360Xtreme?
I did a lot of long swims. Build up to 12hr open water swims. Training was done in chop and typhoons. I had amazing company of swimmers in Clearwater Bay where we have an open water swim group. We swam a lot. Rain, thunder, typhoons, monsoon, wind, chop, swells, tide etc. is never an issue for these swimmers. I was never alone in the water. This group really helped me build open water confidence. During 10-12hr swims I hired a kayak with a paddler and that allowed me to be visible to vessels in the ocean as well as carry my nutrition. I ride and run with my mates in a local club, RMRH. A course of this magnitude needs a top class support crew and I had amazing support from RMRH mates and friends. Nigel from NRG Performance Training trains me every day.
Where is your favourite place to train in Hong Kong?
Swim sessions in FC swimming pool have helped me work on technique. But with venue closure I had to mainly adapt to the ocean. Generally, I prefer to train outdoors. Clearwater bay is excellent for open water sets because it’s convenient for me and there are areas where swims can be launched and finished even if the beaches are closed. And Sai Kung, TKO, MOS and Tai Po are very good for riding and running with flat, rolling and hilly routes.
What was the post-race treat?
A big kiss and an even bigger smile from my wife, Theresa, at the finish line, a big Mac and a chilled can of Sapporo beer.
Favourite meal at HKFC?
Lunch Buffet in the Coffee Shop.