Skip to main content

Sydney mum completing 100 triathlons in 100 days to fundraise for Red Cross

Debi Hazelden and John Mergler running in Centennial Park
Debi Hazelden and John Mergler will cover almost 34,000 kilometres in their 100-day quest.

Supplied: Iron Century

Rain, hail or shine — Debi Hazelden has run through them all in the past 38 days.

The Sydney mum is on a world-first challenge to complete 100 triathlons in 100 days to raise money for the Red Cross, and so far it has been the weather and illness that has proven the most challenging.

There were a couple of 42-degree days in February, and heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning last week tempting her to give up.

But despite the blisters, a cold and a week suffering from hand, foot and mouth disease passed on by her eight-month-old son Ryder, Ms Hazelden is determined to keep going.

Every day for the past four weeks, Ms Hazelden has swum 1.9 kilometres, cycled 90 kilometres and run 21.1 kilometres.

Her husband, John Mergler, is doing double that and their total by the end of 100 days will equal 33,900 kilometres.

Skip Facebook

FireFox NVDA users - To access the following content, press 'M' to enter the iFrame.

Skip Facebook Post

FireFox NVDA users - To access the following content, press 'M' to enter the iFrame.

They set out at 5:30am in their campervan to Prince Alfred pool in Chippendale for the swimming portion, before going to Centennial Park to complete 24 cycling and six running loops.

It takes them six hours to complete.

When they have their son with them, the pair will alternate their running and cycling so that one of them can push the pram at the same time.

"I've been injury free so far," she told ABC Radio Sydney.

"Running in the rain is nice, but on the bike in the rain is bad."

Supporting disaster relief

Ms Hazelden has previously run 20 half ironman triathlons while Mr Mergler has done at least 60 ironman competitions.

Two years ago she became the third woman in the world to match the height of Mount Everest by cycling Watsons Bay Hill in Sydney's eastern suburbs 161 times in a single ride.

It was at that challenge where Ms Hazelden met Mr Mergler, who had come to cheer her along.

 Debi Hazelden and John Mergler running in Centennial Park
Debi and John have had supporters join them on their daily runs.

Supplied: Iron Century

The pair have since organised fundraisers for the Cancer Council, but Ms Hazelden chose the Red Cross this time having seen first-hand the disaster relief the charity provides.

She was living in Christchurch when it was devastated by an earthquake in 2011.

"They do amazing work for people in disasters.

"They do such a great job; giving hot meals, shelter, all sorts of things you don't think of but is so important."

The couple have so far raised $20,000 and hope to reach $100,000.

Their last five days of the challenge will take place in Port Macquarie, with the final day competing in Ironman Australia.