HE’S clocked up a staggering 265,000 miles during 40 years of sporting achievements that has earned him the accolade of being the fittest 60-year-old in Britain.
Mark Kleanthous, 62 has raced in over 500 triathlons, 100 marathons and is just one of five Brits to have completed a triple-Iron-distance triathlon.
Mark isn’t planning on slowing down either, and the endurance athlete and coach credits his more recent extraordinary achievements to our blackcurrant supplement.
Mark is a full-time professional competitor, open water and sport nutrition coach, mentor, author and motivational guest speaker.
The veteran of over 1,200 races globally says: “CurraNZ makes everything smoother for me, whether that’s running, swimming or cycling. I find my recovery from muscle soreness is much faster when I take them.”
Having started using our blackcurrant extract in 2014, he says: “CurraNZ has really helped me recover like I used to 12-15 years ago. I recover much quicker and have improved stamina by being able to keep going at a high intensity for longer.
“Since using CurraNZ I have had some impressive performances in training and triathlons.
“I can often experience sore muscles 48 hours after big training sessions but after some five-hour work-outs (swimming/cycling/running) I have been sleepy rather than tired and have had no problems with delayed muscle soreness.
“I will continue to use CurraNZ and will highly recommend to my athletes. The only negative is it works so will unlikely tell any athlete in the same age group as me!”
What have been some key triathlon highlights over the years?
Overcoming my fear of open water and exiting from horrendous sea swim triathlons.
I was the first Briton to complete a double-Iron distance triathlon transitions in under 24 hours from start to finish, (swim 4.8 miles, cycle 224 miles, run 52.4 miles).
My toughest triathlon was a triple-Iron distance triathlon, which took 45 hours 58 minutes and 29 gruelling seconds to cover 11.4 km swimming, 540km cycling and 126.6 km running with no sleep and in icy conditions.
How does triathlon differ now from that when you first started?
We used to lay our bikes on the ground, you didn’t need a cycle helmet and nudity was allowed.
We swam in trunks (before wetsuits were allowed) then changed into cycling gear, then changed again into run singlet and shorts.
I was one of the first UK competitors to wear a one-piece suit.
I used brown elastic bands instead of shoe-laces for easy access into cycling and running shoes. So no-one noticed, I used tipex to make them look white like shoe laces, but I had to change them often so progressed to using camping toggles (also referred to as lace locks).
I developed a pressurized hydration system with a balloon tucked behind my saddle with a tube and teat tapped to handlebars.
I was one of the first British triathletes to use Scott DH bars in 1987.
What would you say to someone who is just starting out on their triathlon journey?
Enjoy your first seasons of triathlons and compete in smaller, shorter local events. Work on your weaknesses, fitness in one sport is transferable.
Whilst it is good to train with like-minded triathletes in a club (beginners or experienced), avoid training hard with others more than twice per week.
Mark has authored The Complete Book of Triathlon, considered one of the sport’s essential references and owned by some the fastest triathletes on the planet. The third edition is being released this year and can be purchased from Mark's website and is also available from Amazon as hardback and Kindle versions.
Follow Mark on Instagram: @ironmatemark