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Extreme Endurance Required

UPDATE! Congratulations, Mark, for earning first place with a time of 235:20:12!!!

Mark Dodgson, Sonatype software engineer (@mdodgson76), will test his limits starting this Sunday, July 21, in the Deca Ironman event in York, England.

A Deca Ironman is 10 times the distance of a ‘normal’ ironman.

The grueling competition is a combination of swimming, cycling, and running. Athletes in the non-stop event must complete a 24-mile swim, 1,120-mile bike ride, and a 262-mile run. It is the first of its kind in the UK and is associated with the International Ultra Triathlon Association.

“You get 12 days to complete the event. Deep down I am hoping to finish in 10 days. However, I will be happy to just finish because this is my one and only chance to take on such an event,” says Mark.


Macmillian Cancer Support

Mark will be competing to raise funds for Macmillian Cancer Support, an organization that assisted his late cousin, John “Loki Dread” Power.

Mark and his cousin shared a lot of happy memories. “We loved movies. When Batman was due to come out at the cinema we went for the first showing. We went to the barbers and got our heads shaved with just the Batman logo at the back of our heads …… We thought we looked so cool!”

He deeply appreciates Macmillian’s assistance. “Macmillan were amazing. When my cousin and his family realised it was terminal he wanted to be at home. Macmillan enabled him to come home by being there every day and training his wife to deliver the medication herself. If it wasn’t for them he would have passed away in hospital, which is not what he wanted,” says Mark.

Mark’s cousin John “Loki Dread” Power

Mark’s cousin John “Loki Dread” Power

Working Toward Deca

This isn’t Mark’s first race. He’s been taking part in triathlons for a few years, working his way from single Ironman up to triple Ironman. He’s run race distances from a single marathon up to 200 mile runs. This will be his first Deca. 

He recently helped a friend complete a “homemade deca” (not officially sanctioned by the IUTA) which he used as part of his training. Mark jokes “I was hoping it would be useful to see how he handled it, all it has done is made me panic even more!”

Joking aside, Mark is looking forward to pushing his personal limits and taking on this demanding physical challenge. He’s also looking forward to the camaraderie of like-minded athletes.

“These types of events attract only a small amount of people. We all know each other or have heard of each other. It’s like a family gathering ….. just with more pain.”

Mark's enthusiasm for his Deca competition parallels other Sonatyper's passion projects outside of work. He can schedule runs, rides, and swims throughout the day thanks to Sonatype's remote work culture, which prizes autonomy. Workouts never interfere with work (or vice-versa) because Mark has the freedom to arrange his schedule for best results. Our culture is one reason Sonatype continues to win recognition and loyalty. 

Mark's passion project may be more "extreme" than others but all of us are tracking his progress and cheering for his next win. Good luck, Mark!


Photos courtesy Mark Dodgson

Picture of Katie McCaskey

Written by Katie McCaskey

Katie is an experienced technology writer and entrepreneur. At Sonatype, she's focused on creating and finding great content.