Scout parents complete mammoth triathlon challenge
At 2.01pm on Sunday, after running, swimming and cycling 330 miles between London’s Marble Arch and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, a team from Ide Hill in Kent were celebrating their own triumphant achievement.
The six-strong group, made up of leaders, parents and friends of the 16th Sevenoaks Scout Group, had been planning the challenge for months, to raise much-needed funds for a new headquarters and to raise money for the Spinal Injuries Association after their Scout Leader suffered a serious injury.
An extreme triathlon
The Arch to Arc challenge involves running in rotation from Marble Arch to Dover, swimming the English Channel and cycling from Calais to the heart of Paris.
The Ide Hill ‘archers’ set off on Friday morning, reaching the coast in the middle of the night and spending the next 16 hours navigating the world’s busiest shipping lane. Arriving in Calais on Saturday evening, it was straight on the bike to cycle the final exhausting 300 kilometres.
The team were joined at Marble Arch on Friday by Scouting magazine, who were able to verify the start time for recording purposes. In Paris, after a last minute bike change, a security guard at the Arc de Triomphe confirmed the finish time as being 50 hours and one solitary minute after they embarked.
Journey with a purpose
Speaking at the finish line, team member Julian Critchlow said ‘We had so many encouraging text messages and emails over the weekend. At our low points, they were there to lift us and were a huge help. Many said "Congratulations. You did it."
In reality we didn't “do it.” We just put one foot in front of the other, one arm over the other, one circuit of the pedals. It was the horde of helpers and supporters that truly "did it".’
The monumental effort was all in aid of the Scout Group, who have provided activities and adventure for the children of the runners for many years, and are in need of modernising their Scout hut. Proceeds from the run will be shared with the Spinal Injuries Association, who provide care and specialist advice for people suffering with severe neck and spine injuries.