Record-breaking Aussie Adventurer Kyle Williams is no stranger to tackling epic challenges. But his most recent one – The ‘Man Vs Machine’ Challenge racing across three of Australia’s highest mountains for youth charity WhiteLion – was his most unique yet.
On March 19, Kyle set out to take on three of the highest mountains in Australia and this time, he was not just racing against the clock, but pitted himself up against a Jeep Wrangler to see who could make it to the finish line first.
The inaugural ‘Man Vs Machine’ Challenge was in aid of raising funds and awareness for youth charity, WhiteLion, who open doors to opportunities, positive relationships and community connections for youth at risk aged between 10 to 25 years old, with practical support such as mentoring programs, education and employment.
2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Whitelion’s ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ with over 140 people, including young people helped by WhiteLion, climbing three of the highest peaks in Australia: Mt Bogong (VIC), Mt Kosciusko (NSW) and Mt Tennent (ACT).Setting off from Mount Tennent at 10:00am, Kyle and Jeep Wrangler engaged in an epic duel for the next 20 hours. While Kyle had the advantage of being able to go up the direct trail routes for each mountain, the Jeep team tackled hardly-used tracks and off-road options up the mountains. While the Jeep had the advantage in mechanical horsepower and speed, Kyle had the advantage in human heart and determination, attributes that have seen him achieve multiple records and world-firsts across Australia’s mountain peaks.
In the end, Kyle’s mountain experience and dogged determination saw him edge out the Machine, racing nonstop through the night without sleep to cross the finish line first in a time of 20 hours and 30 minutes. The best part according to Kyle was, “In the end, it didn’t matter who summited first, or even the fact I set a new Australian record, the true winners were Whitelion and the young people of Australia they work with. Over $250,000 dollars was raised that will help make a real difference to the lives of many who truly deserve it.”
During the ‘Man Vs Machine’ Challenge, Kyle relied on 7 pieces of ioMerino Gear:
- Altitude Zip Base Layer (Upper Body Base Layer)
- Altitude Full Tights Base Layer (Lower Body Base Layer)
- True North Heritage Tee/Adventure Co. Tee/Earth, Water, Snow Tee (Mid Layer)
- Park City Mid Layer Vest (Mid Layer)
- Highpoint Neck Tube
- Aztech Beanie
- Glacier Tracksuit Pants (casual comfy wear whilst travelling)
As Kyle says, “With just 7 pieces of clothing, I have every weather situation covered. Whether you’re ultra-running, hiking or riding, wearing ioMerino gives you total confidence that you’ll stay warm or cool on demand, and most importantly, you can wear the gear all day and know you’ll remain stink-free! As evidenced in the Man Vs Machine Challenge, I always push myself to my limits and expect my gear to do the same. ioMerino has never let me down!”
As an ioMerino sponsored Ambassador since 2014, Kyle has set an incredible series of endurance records across Australia’s mountains. In 2013, Kyle set a world record by becoming the first person to climb all of Australia’s highest mainland mountains nonstop. Kyle’s ‘A2k’ adventure, as featured in Australian Geographic Online, required climbing 26 mountain peaks of 2000 metres or higher whilst hiking 130 kilometres across Australia’s Snowy Mountains through vast amounts of off-trail snow terrain, gaining nearly 6000 metres of elevation, enduring 48 hours of no sleep and surviving extreme alpine weather conditions. In 2014, Kyle became the first person to run an 82-kilometre ultra-marathon across the Snowy Mountains whilst climbing its highest 21 peaks. In 2015, Kyle set a world record for the fastest time to climb the highest peak in each Australian State and Territory (8 Peaks in 8 States under 6 days).