A Hongkonger completed the world’s first ‘Everesting’ triathlon on Sunday, finishing after 71 hours and seven minutes – over 55 hours of moving time – but it would not have been possible without the support of his friends and tough love from his wife.

Everesting is the latest challenge in the endurance community – cyclists ride up and down the same hill until they accumulate the full height of Everest, 8,848m (29,029ft). Runners then took up the mantle and completed the same feat by foot.

Now, Mayank Vaid has upped the game again – he consecutively swam 9km, ‘Everested’ on his bike and then ran up High Junk Peak in Sai Kung, Hong Kong.

“Other ultras are journeys. Doing these repeats for two days constantly and seeing the same thing on the bike and the run, the repetition takes it toll on the athletes and the supporters,” said Vaid, a lawyer for Louis Vuitton. “I’d come down, I’d touch the water and turn and I could see High Junk Peak. Every time I saw it, it seemed higher, taller and further.”

On the second night, it began to rain. Vaid completed a lap that took him over an hour, one of his slowest, and failure entered his thoughts. He also began to feel guilty he had wasted so much of his friends’ time. They had come to support him, even swimming, cycling and running with him.

“Then, Theresa [Vaid’s wife] gave me a good lecture – ‘you’re not going to die, your life is not in any threat, you can move, this is just in your head’,”

Vaid was hallucinating. He had burned over 10,000 calories on the bike ride, but was unable to replace the fuel.

“By the time I was on the run, I was heaving, I was cold, my mind was playing tricks, all because of lack of nutrition,” he said. “I was hallucinating, I was seeing people, I was seeing people walk by. I was starting to feel like there were two eyes looking at me through the darkness. At one point I thought I’d reached the top, but I was still 200 metres away,” he said.

“But once the sun came out, things changed. It’s like we’re solar-powered, the sun comes up and you see the view and it’s all right.”

Hongkonger sets record in ‘toughest, most brutal’ triathlon on earth

Members of his cycling club, Real Men Ride Hiram, accompanied him on the entire cycling section. Neighbours in his village stood by their doors with posters and cowbells encouraging Vaid as he went by. His wife manned the aid station and gave him tough love when he needed it. Runners joined him, too.

“It’s impossible without the right kind of crew and assistance,” Vaid said. “When the run started it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. It felt like I wasn’t going to go through with it, but I had incredible friends who wouldn’t let me go drop out.”