Chasing Antarctica with Baffin: Accomplishing the Impossible, One Step at a Time

In February 2024, Canadian endurance athlete Connor Emeny, became the first person to complete an Iron-distance triathlon on every continent. Already the youngest person to complete an Ironman on six continents, a feat he accomplished at 26 years old, Connor set off for Antarctica with Baffin as his official footwear and apparel partner. 

Below, Connor shares the story of his record-breaking adventure.


“Good boots take you good places” - Connor Emeny

As an endurance athlete, optimist, and extreme adventurer, I’m always on the hunt for the best products to help me accomplish the impossible. My latest quest: becoming the first person in the world to complete an Ironman Triathlon on all seven continents required a lot of training, discipline, and gear. So how did I get to Antarctica and what did a 3.9 km swim, 180 km bike ride and 42.2 km run feel like on the coldest and driest continent? Well, I’m still thawing from the experience.

In March 2020, I completed my first Ironman, Ironman New Zealand. It was supposed to be a bucket list item – inspired by a friend to do something I thought was impossible. How could the body move for that long? There was only one way to find out, sign up and give myself six months to train for it. After crossing that first finish line I proved that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. This put me on an adventure completing Ironmans around the globe and after my last race, Ironman Brazil, in May 2022, I became the youngest person to complete six Ironmans on six continents. With one dream ending, the next one began; and my mind moved to the only continent left, Antarctica. A triathlon has never been done on all seven continents.

With the world being such a hard place, I really believe it needs more dreamers. People who Dare to Dream and authentically pursue what drives them, ignites hope and courage in those around them. So, I left Canada on February 9, 2024, at 11:15 am to do just that. Joined by my brother Alex, mom, and best friend, videographer Innes Simpson who captured this journey, I travelled for 36 hours arriving in “Fin Del Mundo” the Spanish translation for “The end of the World” in Ushuaia, Argentina.


We were greeted at the airport in Ushuaia by Eric, the captain of our sailboat and his mate Oscar. With their help we loaded the boat with my fat tire bike and four large hockey bags filled with gear for the team, including Baffin’s high-performance winter boots, insulated Hybrid Slippers, cold-weather apparel, and accessories, along with rubber boots for the sea voyage. When we arrived at the boat we met the remainder of our team, Co-Captain John and Videographer + Deck Hand, David. As we settled into our bunks, I handed out the Chasing Antarctica x Baffin Polar Expedition parks to everyone, which kept us warm and set the tone for us as one team.

Our sailboat nicknamed “The Tank” was small at only 50 feet long, but it slept seven people in bunks and was built to withstand the Drake Passage, the roughest waters in the world. Upon arrival in Antarctica peninsula, we sailed through Iceberg Alley, an incredible view of Mother Nature with 100 ft high icebergs and penguins, seals, and whales swimming nearby. This moment immediately gave us a sense of awe at how beautiful and special Antarctica really is. We arrived at Deception Island, an active volcano range to scout the location for the triathlon. As soon as we pulled into the cove of Telefon Bay, I knew this spot would be perfect.

Race Day: February 20, 2024
Official Start Time: 5:25 am


I woke up at 4:07 am from a rather sleepless night. I could hear the wind howling and honestly, I was nervous for the day ahead. The crew was already working, preparing the dingy, doing a few trips back and forth with my bike, crew members and some transition layers I could put on post swim. After eating a breakfast of oatmeal with banana, peanut butter, and chia seeds, plus my morning coffee and nearly a litre of water it was time to put on my wetsuit. I was dialed in. In my mind I felt like I had done this swim 1,000 times and just had another routine swim to complete.

At 5:15 am, the dingy came to get me, beginning the final trip before the swim start. I climbed in the dingy only to realize there was one final thing that needed to be done. I had to climb back on the boat and walk over to hoist the Chasing Antarctica flag. That was the cue the whole team needed to know it was game time. We went ashore and I put on my swim diving mask and had my brother cover any exposed skin in Vaseline - a trick I learned in practice to create another layer between the freezing water and your skin.

After a few deep breaths I walked into the water, told myself “You got this” and started swimming. I had a little over six 600 m laps to complete to hit my 3.86 km marker. The first lap was already tough as I was swimming into a headwind. I made a last-minute decision to use lobster gloves, which are slightly thicker than the gloves I have used in the past. I immediately realized my right glove was loose but knew I couldn’t stop because I had started my momentum and needed my body to find a swim flow. Instead, I focused on my breath, with every two strokes I would breathe in and out of my mouth as my nose was covered with the mask. The first 600 m felt like an eternity. I finally reached the other side and turned around feeling a bit more confident as I could see the sailboat marker in the distance and had the wind at my back. The back stretch felt much better as I found a rhythm and before I knew it, I was already on the other side. That was 1200 m done. “Keep going” I told myself.


On the second lap I felt numb. My hands and feet were so cold, my arms felt like they had 40-pound weights in them. I could barely lift my left arm out of the water but was still breathing steady and felt strangely at peace. On the fifth lap, my legs started cramping, I was zoning in and out, my goggles were fogging, and I wasn’t swimming straight. About halfway through the lap five I got really scared, my left leg completely cramped and locked. I had to flip onto my back to alert the team that my leg was locked. John quickly came over with some warm water and I rested holding onto the boat for a moment. I couldn’t move my leg and I was in so much pain. I managed to swim the fifth and sixth laps without using my legs and when I got to the shore realized I had surpassed my goal and had completed a 3.89 km swim. I was in disbelief; I couldn’t believe I had done it.

I tried to stand, but my legs gave out and I fell to the ground. The crew came running over with warm jackets to throw over me and helped me get to our aid station. My body was violently shaking, and I knew I was in trouble. From my training I knew as hard as it was, I needed to take off my wetsuit and change into new clothes as soon as possible. The team was exceptional, and even though I managed to change quickly, the after drop began and my body was going into shock. My brother, Alex, trained in first aid jumped on top of me and put my frozen hands under his shirt directly on his bare skin. My mom quickly came beside me hugging and shaking my body to create warmth. John was using his hands to shake my feet to help with blood flow and Innes had warm soup and food at hand.

The swim took one hour, 43 minutes and 46 seconds to complete. That’s a long time to be in -0.8-degree waters. After about 30 minutes of warming up and refueling, I managed to get up and climb on my fat bike. I knew I had a long day ahead and needed to get moving, plus my body was still so cold so all I wanted to do was start moving to warm up. I biked along the sandy beach, each pedal feeling like I had weights on my feet due to the resistance in the sand. I biked along the coast around the nearby mountain to begin biking the 200 m loop.


The biking portion of this race, which covered 180 km, took 21 hours and 39 seconds to complete. My head was dizzy from doing nearly 900 laps of the 200m loop, and I was beyond sleep deprived and exhausted. At the 140 km mark I started falling asleep on the bike as we went into the night hours. My strategy was to break the bike into 18 10 km segments, stopping for food and hydration every 10 km. This strategy worked well for the first 100 km, but as I began getting exhausted, I changed to 5 km loops, then 3 km, then sometimes just a couple hundred meters at a time. I told myself to just keep moving forward. I biked all throughout the night and finished just as the sun started to break. As I finished the bike, I collapsed on my aid station towel. The crew helped me change and wrapped me in my Baffin Polar Parka to keep warm. My legs were so stiff I couldn’t bend them. After getting into my run gear, I knew I had to power nap before I started so I closed my eyes for 20 minutes. The team woke me up, in what felt like a blink of the eye, helped me to my feet and I started. I couldn’t run with the pain in my knees being unbearable, so I began the run portion of the race waddling like a penguin. Even in so much pain, I couldn’t help but embrace it and smile, because I knew my dream would be realized in a few hours.

Thirty-three hours, 42 minutes, and 34 seconds. That how’s long it took to swim 3.9 km, bike 180 km and run 42.2 km in Antarctica. The final stretch and crossing the finish line couldn’t have been more special. I ran along the ridge line of the mountains, summiting the final push to be welcomed by the whole team in there big yellow Baffin jackets, waiting with the Chasing Antarctica flag. I was holding back my emotions, but was so present, so thankful and so proud of the team. I was proud of myself, for realizing a dream, never giving up and making it happen. My lesson in all of this was to believe in yourself, go all in and celebrate the people along the way. Some people want it to happen, other people make it happen but for me, this had to happen. I sacrificed so much but that’s what life is about, trusting in the unknown, taking chances and learning by falling forward.


So, we did it. The first person in the world to complete an Iron-Distance triathlon on all seven continents. A testament to the human spirit, the relentless pursuit of victory and an unwavering commitment to following a dream. The best part is I got to share the best moment of my life with my mom, my brother and my best friend, and work with a Canadian brand that believes in real-world testing gear and achieving the impossible.

If that isn’t winning, I don’t know what is. Dare to Dream.

Stay tuned for the documentary following our time in Antarctica. Follow www.chasingantarctica or @connor.emeny on Instagram for more updates.

 Baffin products worn by Connor and the Chasing Antarctica team:

POLAR PARKA – Shop here
POLAR PANT – Shop here
BOREALIS – Shop here


GRIP 360 (PLN) – Shop here
NORTH SOCK – Shop here
KNIT TOQUE – Shop here
TRAIL SOCK – Shop here


CUSH – Shop here
BASE LAYER TOP – Shop here