Paratriathlon guide and 2019 IRONMAN Lanzarote winner, Nikki Bartlett, is embarking on an incredible fundraising expedition in Zwift’s virtual land of Watopia.
Bartlett has decided, alongside a small group of friends, to take on Zwift’s famous ‘Climb Mt. Everest Challenge’, which has participants climb a formidable 8,850m (29,028ft) of virtual land.
On Sunday 10th May, Bartlett will begin her ascent at around 7.30am BST and is expecting the challenge to take around 12 hours to complete.
Branded ‘Virtual Everesting’, Zwift have a dedicated hall of fame for those who reach the summit, and with only 1,333 people currently posted in the hall of fame, this challenge clearly pushes even the very best to their limits.
Bartlett discovered the challenge after taking up Zwift during lockdown, she said: “I’m new to Zwift since lockdown, I didn’t have a proper turbo before but now I have a Wahoo Kickr. A few weeks back, I went through a level that said that I was now able to take on the Everest challenge, and obviously, right there the seed was planted.”
A veteran triathlete, Bartlett is always looking to push herself, with her first experiences in the sport being over the 70.3-mile and 140.6-mile distances. However, this time it’s different for the IRONMAN Lanzarote victor.
Bartlett said: “It’s a challenge for me to see if I can overcome something like this. I genuinely don’t know if I can complete it. Four hours on a turbo is long enough, but I’m excited to take on something so gruelling and mad, which will push me completely out of my comfort zone like IRONMAN racing does.”
The multisport community is welcomed to join Bartlett and her friends in any way they can, with Bartlett saying: “If you have Zwift, please come and join us for any duration. I’m also going to have Facebook live chats going throughout the day, people can ask questions, people can come and join in and we’ll have a lot of fun.”
The charity Bartlett is supporting is one close to her heart. Raising money for MOVE, the funds raised will help support those living with cancer and beyond, Bartlett said: “MOVE have loads of great initiatives on their website and one of them is the 5km your way, which is basically a platform to get people moving and exercising during and after treatment and it’s been hugely successful.”
She continued: “Even if I don’t raise much money, but raise awareness for the charity, it’s worth it. It’s the small charities that really need our help at the moment.”
Recently, Bartlett’s social media has been filled with pictures of her dressed as Spider-Man on her daily runs, Bartlett said: “The daily Spider-Man runs are amazing, we’re having special requests to run by people’s houses for kid’s birthdays, so I’ve kept that going every day. Because of that, I haven’t been out on the bike, so everything’s been on Zwift.”
She continued: “It’s the most fun I’ve had running in my life. Just seeing people’s faces and everyone smiling and waving and taking photos, it’s amazing.”
Bartlett is planning to wear the suit for sections of this indoor cycle too. So be sure to look out for the friendly neighbourhood triathlete in Watopia on Sunday.
You can see the live video chats on Nikki Bartlett’s Facebook page, here.
If you would like to donate, click the button below to view Nikki Bartlett’s Just Giving page.