Triathlon World Record Attempt – Matthew James Turnbull – August 2024

Matt, no stranger to extreme triathlon having been the first person on UK soil to complete 7 iron distance triathlons in 7 days, has a new world record attempt in his sights. 10 triathlons in 10 countries in under 24 hours!


World Record – Most triathlons completed in 24 hrs in consecutive countries

World Record – Fastest time to complete 10 triathlons across 10 countries

World Record – Most countries covered in a single Iron Distance triathlon

4000 meters of open water swimming – 200km of road cycling – 50km of road running

(More than an iron man distance in under 24hrs!)


August 2024


Matt Turnbull (Teacher/ Musician/ Triathlete), 45 yrs old, father of 2 boys, married to Kelly (a nurse) born and raised in Hartlepool, North of England


This has never been attempted before! It is logistically and physically possible and all elements have been considered with team in place but it is a HUGE feat of endurance with very specific and particular logistical needs including; ocean swimming, speed boats, time trial cycle riding, helicopters, road running and ca/motorbike support.

Matt has given up his full time job as a teacher to train for this challenge and devote up to 18 hours a week to focus on the level of swim, bike and run training required to be in top physical form.  He wants to leave a legacy for his sons and to inspire other people whilst raising as much money as possible for charity.

Matt has chosen 2 charities close to his heart as both charities have worked closely with family and friends of Matt’s in times of great need. This is his way of giving back and saying thank you.


In 2022 Matt’s son Ben set a junior world record for the fastest time to complete adult sprint triathlons across the four home nations (Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales). He did this in at 14 years old and in only 17hrs and 48 minutes which was an astonishing feat. Matt coached his son and organised all logistical aspects so knows what is required to complete 10 triathlons in one day. Locations are in place and both British and European teams are in place, as are the boat and flight captains.

  1. Dundalk Ireland

(Brown Shoe Triathlon Team – Support)

  • Newry Northern Ireland

Brown Shoe Triathlon Team – Support)

  • Cairngaan Scotland

(Stranraer Triathlon Team – Support)

  • Whitehaven England (Possibly Isle of Man)

(Carlisle Triathlon Team)

  • Rhyl Wales

(The Triathlon Company, Buckley – Support Team)

  • Dunkirk France
  • De Panne Belgium
  • Cadzand Holland
  •   Weiswampach Luxembourg
  •   Dasberg Germany
  • (European teams TBA)

Why Matt?

Matt has history of huge challenges and records but none that that match up to this. He has taken himself to his physical limits on many occasions to raise funds for deserving charities. 2024 will mark his RETIREMENT from ultra endurance challenges. At 46 years old this will be the last time he puts his body through such rigours.

World Record Coach – 4 Triathlons, 1 Day, 4 Countries 2022

Role Model Of The Year 2019 – Hartlepool & Tees Valley Pride

Coach Of The Year 2018 – Hartlepool and District Sports Council

Athlete Of The Year 2017 – Hartlepool and District Sports Council

2017 Consecutive Ironman British Record Holder (7 in 7 Days)

2016 European Silver Medalist  – Sprint Distance Duathlon

2016 British Silver Medalist  – Olympic Distance Duathlon

2015 British No1 Alcobendez European Duathlon AG Champs

2015 Big Lime Triathlon Winner & Course Record Holder

24 hr Road Ride (350mile +) – Completed 2011

26.2 Hr Ultra Run (87.5 miles) – Completed 2012

Half Marathon Swim (11.8 miles) – Completed 2012

Matt Winning “Role Model of the Year 2018” for his endurance challenges and charity work.

Matt Representing
Team GB and achieving Silver Medals at both European Championships and National
Championships in 2016.

A family thing – Matt Racing the Castle Howard Triathlon (3rd Place Vet) with his family in 2021. Ben 15, Dylan 17 and wife Kelly.


Training in swim bike and run to the level required is a serious feat in itself. Early in the year long training plan training will require 3 x 1 hr pool swim sessions, 3 x 1 hr Bike sessions and 3 x 1 hr run sessions as well as gym based strength and mobility sessions. This will quickly extend to add up to 6 more hours of Bike and run to develop the aerobic capacity to cope with the rigours of this challenge. There will also be regular appointments with physio, Amatsu, doctors and other specialists to ensure that at FORTY SIX, Matt is able to keep himself in the physical shape required to succeed.


Part of the journey for Matt is to get his body to the composition to be as fast and light as is optimal. Due to three bouts of Covid and various injuries and his age, Matt needs to lose 10kg across the year to ensure his power to weight ratio is optimal. This will require a very strict diet and nutritional focus to obtain his optimum which is likely to be in the 80kg mark. Key nutritional choices will aid with recovery, reduced inflammation and support injury prevention.


Matt has chosen to raise funds for two charities close to his heart. “Cancer Research” is the first charity he raised funds for through his endurance pursuits back in 2012 when he completed his first Ironman in the memory of a dear family friend. The second charity is the “Tiny Lives Trust”, a neonatal baby charity supporting sick newborns in Newcastle’s RVI. This is the charity he chose for his 7 Ironmans in 7 Days challenge in 2017. This was due to the close family friend losing a baby a couple of years prior.

Interested in doing your first Triathlon and raising money for charity?

Matt has put together a range of programs to support anyone with goggles, a bike and a pair of trainers to complete their first triathlon with a smile. There are a range of program options and explanatory videos to steer you through 12 weeks of training, so you can safely complete your first Go-Tri, super-sprint or sprint distance triathlon. Visit FIRST-TRI.CO.UK You can purchase your program and support package knowing profits will go to Matt’s amazing chosen charities.


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