Colin O'Brady

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Colin O'Brady
ColinOBrady2016.jpg
Personal information
Birth nameColin Timothy O'Brady
NationalityAmerican
Born (1985-03-16) March 16, 1985 (age 34)
Olympia, Washington, U.S.
ResidencePortland, Oregon, U.S.
Alma materYale University
OccupationPro Endurance Athlete
Years active2009–present
Spouse(s)Jenna Besaw
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata
Sport
SportMountaineer, professional triathlete
Achievements and titles
Highest world ranking4x world record speed holder; Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree), Seven Summits, Three Poles Challenge, 50 Highest Points
Updated on April 23, 2016.

Colin Timothy O'Brady (born March 16, 1985) is an American professional endurance athlete, motivational speaker and adventurer. He is a former professional triathlete, representing the United States on the ITU Triathlon World Cup circuit, racing in 25 countries on six continents from 2009–2015.[1][2]

O'Brady is a four-time world record holder. In 2016 he set the Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree) and Seven Summits speed records.[3][4][5][6][7][8] He became the fastest person to complete the adventurers challenges in 139 days and 131 days respectively. In the summer of 2018, O'Brady set the speed record for the 50 US High Points in 21 days. On December 26, 2018, he crossed the land mass of Antarctica, solo and unsupported.

Early life and education[edit]

Colin Timothy O'Brady was born on March 16, 1985 in Olympia, Washington,[citation needed] but was raised in Portland, Oregon. He attended the Franciscan Montessori Earth School, Mt. Tabor Middle School, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 2002.[9]

O'Brady was a youth soccer star and Oregon State Swimming Champion.[10] He was recruited for both collegiate swimming and soccer in high school. He accepted a recruitment to swim for the Yale Bulldogs swimming and diving team where he competed on the NCAA Division I varsity team in the 100 and 200 meter Breaststroke.[11] He graduated from Yale University in 2006 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.[10]

In 2007, O'Brady began what was planned as a year-long backpacking trip around the world. In January 2008, on the island of Koh Tao, he suffered a devastating burn injury. Though he was warned he might never walk normally, he took his first step the following month and was determined to make a full recovery.[12][13][14]

Career[edit]

Early career and professional triathlete[edit]

O'Brady moved to Chicago where he took a job as a commodities trader following the accident. He learned how to walk again, and for a year focused on physical rehabilitation. He began to train for triathlon; swimming, cycling, and running.[15]

In May 2009 he won a sprint-distance triathlon in Racine, Wisconsin and in August 2009 he placed 1st overall amateur in the Olympic-distance Chicago Triathlon.[16] He then placed in the age-group nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which earned him a position on Team USA at the 2010 World Triathlon Championships in Budapest, Hungary. In late 2009, encouraged by his mentor, financier Brian Gelber, O'Brady quit his job to pursue a career as a professional athlete. With Gelber as a sponsor, he moved to Australia to train in a more temperate climate. O'Brady has since completed more than 50 triathlons, ranging from sprint distance to Ironman competitions.[13][17]

O'Brady completed Ironman Japan in August 2015, his final triathlon race and placed 6th in the Pro division.[18]

Endurance and adventurer[edit]

Following his retirement from triathlon, O'Brady and his then-fiancée Jenna Besaw created Beyond 7/2, a not-for-profit world record journey to inspire kids and communities to live active, healthy lives.[2] O'Brady aimed to conquer the Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree), an adventurer's challenge to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents and complete expeditions to both the North and South Poles in world record time. O'Brady and Besaw financed the Grand Slam attempt through sponsorships from Gelber Group, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and Mountain Hardwear, among others.[2] The project raised funds and awareness to benefit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a non-profit organization that aims to combat childhood obesity.[19] O'Brady proposed to fiancée, Jenna Besaw, on the summit of Cayambe, Ecuador's third tallest mountain, on October 27, 2014.[citation needed]

O'Brady left Portland on December 25, 2015, flying to Chile and then Union Glacier in Antarctica. In January 2016, O'Brady began the Explorers Grand Slam.[citation needed] O'Brady was joined on parts of his Beyond 7/2 journey by various climbing partners and expedition teammates including polar explorer Eric Larsen and fellow mountaineer, Maria (Masha) Gordon.[citation needed]

O'Brady became the fastest person (male) to complete the Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree) when he reached the summit of Denali in Alaska on May 27, 2016 and set a new speed record of 139 days.[20] He bested the previous male record of 197 days set by Richard Parks in 2011. O'Brady is the 36th person to complete the Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree) and the current record holder. O'Brady completed 10 expeditions in total to fulfill both the Bass and Messner lists.[citation needed]

O'Brady completed both the Bass and Messner lists for the Seven Summits speed record.[21] climbing Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Puncak Jaya, Vinson (the "Messner version").

O'Brady is the fastest[3][5] to complete the Three Poles Challenge, an adventurer’s challenge to reach the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Mount Everest. He began the challenge in Antarctica on January 10, 2016, reached the North Pole on April 19, and summited Mount Everest on May 19, 2016.[22]

In the summer of 2018, aided by a small support team, O'Brady shattered the speed record for the 50 US High Points Challenge when he climbed the highest point in each of the 50 states of the United States in just 21 days, 9 hours, and 48 minutes. While reaching each high point, he invited local residents of all ages and backgrounds to come out to join him in setting a new world record; this piece of the project was coined "The Forrest Gump Effect".[23][24][25][26]

On December 26, 2018, O’Brady completed a solo and unsupported crossing of parts of Antarctica from the Messner start to the beginning of the Ross Ice Shelf by following the South Pole Overland Traverse ice highway.[27][28] He completed the 932 mile journey in 54 days,[29] finishing ahead of explorer Louis Rudd who was also attempting the feat.[30] Professor Peter Winsor has disputed the claim that the trek was "unassisted."[30]

World records[edit]

Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree)[edit]

Mountain Elevation Continent Country Date Summited
South Pole 9,301 ft

(2,835 m)

Antarctica January 10, 2016[citation needed]
Mount Vinson 16,050 ft

(4,892 m)

Antarctica January 17, 2016[citation needed]
Aconcagua 22,838 ft

(6,961 m)

South America Argentina January 31, 2016[citation needed]
Mount Kilimanjaro 19,341 ft

(5,895 m)

Africa Tanzania February 9, 2016[citation needed]
Mount Kosciuszko

(Bass List)

7,310 ft

(2,228 m)

Australia Australia February 17, 2016[citation needed]
Carstensz Pyramid

Puncak Jaya

(Messner List)

16,024 ft

(4,884 m)

Oceania Indonesia March 4, 2016[citation needed]
Mount Elbrus 18,510 ft

(5,642 m)

Europe Russia March 10, 2016[citation needed]
North Pole 0 ft April 19, 2016[citation needed]
Mount Everest 29,029 ft

(8,848 m)

Asia Nepal May 19, 2016[citation needed]
Denali 20,322 ft

(6,194 m)

North America United States May 27, 2016[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ USA Today Sports (January 7, 2016). "Endurance athlete will try to break peaks record". USA Today. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Maise, Rick (January 11, 2015). "Sports Six months, seven mountains, two poles — and the pursuit of one record". Washington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Setting an epic world record".
  4. ^ "Behind-the-Scenes of Colin O'Brady's Record-Shattering Expedition". Men's Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Stulberg, Brad (July 19, 2016). "How Did Colin O'Brady Shatter an Absolutely Insane Endurance and Adventure Record?". Outside Online. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Fastest time to complete the climb the Seven Summits and ski the polar last degrees (male)". guinnessworldrecords.com.
  7. ^ "Colin O'Brady on remarkable solo Antarctica trek: 'Take on the impossible'". TODAY.com. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Fastest time to climb the Seven Summits including Carstensz (male)". guinnessworldrecords.com.
  9. ^ "Record Breaker Colin O'Brady Is Portland's Best Explorer". Willamette Week. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Vondersmith, Jason (March 1, 2016). "Adventurer Colin O'Brady attempts new record in Explorers Grand Slam". Portland Tribune. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  11. ^ "Yale Bulldogs". yalebulldogs.com. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  12. ^ Ragogna, Mike (March 8, 2016). "Ain't No Mountain High Enough: A Conversation with Colin O'Brady". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Hunter, Kat (July 31, 2013). "Real Life of the Pros: ITU Triathlete Colin O'Brady". Austin Tri Cyclist. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  14. ^ "Colin's story: From burn victim to pro triathlete". Legacy Health. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  15. ^ Bissinger, Caleb (February 11, 2016). "Seven Summits. Two Poles. Six Months". Men's Journal. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  16. ^ "COLIN T O'BRADY's results for Chicago Triathlon Results". Active.com. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  17. ^ Hoff, Jennifer (August 6, 2015). "Portland man gears up to top world's tallest peaks". KOIN News. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  18. ^ "IRONMAN Japan Results – IRONMAN Official Site | IRONMAN triathlon 140.6 & 70.3". IRONMAN.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  19. ^ Bissinger, Caleb (February 11, 2016). "Seven Summits. Two Poles. Six Months". Men's Journal.
  20. ^ "Setting an epic world record". CBS News. June 5, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  21. ^ "Fastest time to climb the Seven Summits including Carstensz (male)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "Beyond 7/2 Calendar".
  23. ^ Colin O'Brady climbing mountains in more ways than one, July 25, 2018, retrieved August 30, 2018
  24. ^ Vondersmith, Jason (July 23, 2018). "Portland Tribune". The Portland Tribune. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  25. ^ "U.S. 50 Highest Points". Spreaker. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  26. ^ "He climbed the highest points in all 50 states — and set a world record". thenewstribune. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  27. ^ Blomkvist, Linn (December 29, 2018). "Polar explorers do not agree that Colin O'Brady crossed the Antarctica without aid". NRK (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  28. ^ Skolnick, Adam; Lai, K. K. Rebecca; Lu, Denise (December 18, 2018). "Tracking the Race Across Antarctica". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  29. ^ Brangham, William (January 17, 2019). "How Colin O'Brady mentally prepared for his Antarctic feat". PBS.
  30. ^ a b Housman, Justin (January 3, 2019). "Wait, Were the Recent Antarctic Crossings Really "Unassisted"?". Adventure Journal. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  31. ^ "Setting an epic world record". CBS News. June 5, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  32. ^ "Colin O'Brady: The 50 Highest Points in Each US State and Another World Record". The Outdoor Journal. December 20, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2019.

External links[edit]