Sexual Violence Survivor Seeks to Break Ultra-Triathlon World Record
Ana - Laredo Sun
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February 3, 2014

Norma Bastidas - Be Relentless (Mexico News Network)

Norma Bastidas, a 46-year-old single mom, survivor of sexual abuse and violence, humanitarian, and the first woman ultramarathoner to complete seven ultramarathons on seven continents in seven months in 2009, now seeks to break the world record for an ultra-triathlon by completing 3,536 miles (5,690 km) in 36-45 days. Her goal is to bring awareness to the fight against human trafficking in two countries – Mexico and the United States – and to empower victims and survivors of sexual violence and human trafficking across the world.

A dual citizen of Mexico and Canada, Bastidas will begin her quest in Cancun, Mexico on March 1, 2014, where she plans on swimming 95 miles (152 km), averaging 8-10 miles per day. She’ll then bike 2,740 miles (4,409 km), averaging 300-500 miles per day. Hoping to cross the border into the United States at Laredo between March 18-20, she will continue biking across Texas, through San Antonio to Houston and on to New Orleans, Louisiana. When she reaches Montgomery, Alabama, she’ll switch to running and head for Washington, DC, 690 miles (1,110 km) away, attempting to average between 30-50 miles daily.

The current ultra-triathlon record listed by Guinness World Records is by David Holleran of Australia, who completed a triathlon of 26 mile (42 km) swim, 1242 mile (2,000 km) cycle and 310 mile (500 km) run (total 1,579 miles) in 17 days, 22 hrs, 50 mins., in 1998.

A documentary team from iEmpathize, a non-profit organization whose mission is to combat modern slavery and child exploitation, will accompany Bastidas to capture her event on film. While Bastidas was kidnapped and almost trafficked herself, the resulting film iEmpathize will release in either late 2014 or early 2015, titled Be Relentless will feature not only her story, but the stories of human trafficking victims and their advocates in both the United States and Mexico.

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