A team of Help for Heroes beneficiaries from across the UK have become the first disabled team to complete the Arch to Arch today as part of their own personal journey to rebuild their lives after injury or illness.
After a gruelling nine month training period, the team put all their hard work into action as they took on the Enduroman Arch to Arch Challenge, known as the ‘world’s hardest triathlon’, running 87 miles from Marble Arch to Dover, swimming the English Channel then cycling 181 miles to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.
The clock started at Marble Arch, London, when Team Inspire of the Help for Heroes group departed at 1500 and stopped when they arrived at Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Team Inspire were the first team across the line having finished all stages, completing the event in 47 hours and 55 minutes.
Rob Cromey-Hawke who competed as part of Team Inspire said: “I and the team are delighted to be stood here at the Arch de Triomphe having set the record for the first disabled team to complete Arch to Arc Challenge. None of us in the team would be here right now without the amazing support and guidance that we have received from Help for Heroes.
“We’d like to show all other injured service personnel and the UK population that no matter what turn your life takes, you can still achieve amazing things.”
Team Support were the second team to cross the finish line at 1700 on Sunday 27th September in a time of 50 hours and 4 minutes. Team Enable were the third team to cross the finish line at 2200 on Sunday 27th September in a time of 55 hours, 53 minutes.
Competitor Andy Hawkett, from Team Achieve, proposed to girlfriend, Michelle Willson at finale. She said: “I am overwhelmed and ecstatic! What a way to top off the most amazing weekend.”
The first run stage was a close call to ensure the teams arrived in time for the swim and the 0500 tide from ShakespeareBeach, Dover, on Saturday morning.
Tough conditions on the swim made the challenge even more grueling taking Team Inspire 18 hours to swim 30 miles. They were able to claw back vital time on the cycle stage as they pushed through the 181 miles.
Team Achieve had to terminate their swim stage of the Arch to Arc Challenge due to tough conditions and chronic sea sickness. The team, however, were determined to finish the challenge and continued the cycle leg as planned to continue to raise funds for Help for Heroes and arrived in Paris shortly after 0900 local time on Sunday.
The challenge participants were wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women that are beneficiaries of Help for Heroes, incorporating all abilities, using sport as part of their recovery journey as they rebuild their lives after injury or illness.
The Help for Heroes team were also supported by former model and TV presenter Jodie Kidd who supported participant, Jen Warren, on the run and cycle routes.
The team are raising money for Help for Heroes in a bid to give back to the Charity that has supported them as part of their recovery journey. To donate, visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk/arch2arc