A 'channel triathlon' from Dover to Prague

The route from Dover to Prague

Abhejali Bernadova from the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Zlin, Czech Republic completed a unique 'channel triathlon' - swimming the English Channel from Dover to Calais, then cycling through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, and finally a 182km run to Prague - a total of 1111km. It took her 7 days, 12 hours and 5 minutes.

Sri Chinmoy encouraged his students to practice sports as part of their spiritual life, and some of his students have been inspired to use their inner spiritual capacity to achieve remarkable feats of endurance. In 1985, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre first crossed the English Channel, and since then members our group have completed almost 50 channel crossings.

When you climb a mountain or swim the English Channel, you may call it a silly adventure, but I take it as part of our manifestation. In the world of manifestation, there is an outer history and an inner history. One is in the mind and one is in the heart. The mind’s history we will forget the next day, but the history of the heart we will forever remember.

....In an adventure, if you do not meet with immediate success, you have to feel that eventually you will succeed. In the beginning, the idea of swimming the English Channel seemed impossible. Now a number of our girl disciples are doing it, and one older man is defying age and conquering the Channel. So if somebody else fails, you should not give up. Either you will do it, or there will be somebody else to come who will succeed.

Sri Chinmoy

Abhejali started on Monday September 13 at 3am from Dover. Contending with a force-5 gale, she completed the crossing in 15 hours and 33 minutes. The only other successful crossing on the same day was a 5-person relay team. It was her last chance to swim this year and the swim had already been postponed a few times.

Current restrictions did not allow her to stay in France, so she had to take a detour back to Dover and then take a ferry to France.

She then cycled from Calais to her hometown of Cheb, near the Czech/German border. The cycling leg, which took her 4 days, was approximately 900 kilometres through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

She arrived in Cheb on Saturday afternoon, then ran 182km to Prague, arriving on Monday afternoon. Her daily average was 220km cycling and 2 marathons running.

Abhejali completed her first English Channel swim in 2011. Seven years later she completed the Oceans Seven, a list of seven noted long-distance swims around the world. With her swimming she tries to inspire others to overcome their own limits and show that many of these limits exist only in the mind.

An interview from 2017 where Abhejali talks about her English Channel swimming experience