Vicki successfully took on the iconic Arch to Arc challenge – the hardest triathlon in the world – in a six person relay team, raising over £8,540. The team set off on Friday 1st September at 2.30am from Marble Arch in London and arrived in Paris on Sunday 3rd September at 11.11am. The team ran 87 miles from London to Dover, swum 21 miles across the English Channel to France and cycled 181 miles from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, in a strict rotation of an hour each of running, swimming and cycling until they reached Paris.

Vicki says: I trained and competed in bodybuilding competitions over the last decade until the pandemic struck in 2020. I went from training five times a week at the gym to being lucky if I walked 500 steps a day and started eating packets of chocolate biscuits whilst I worked from home. The same year my partner and I decided to take the opportunity to move down to the coast as it was agreed that I could permanently work from home. Apart from piling on the pounds, being more sedentary caused me to have a number of injuries; it was clear that I needed to become more active.  

So when Aspire mentioned an Arch to Arc relay, it seemed an acceptable way to do that!  In the excitement of signing up to the challenge, I forgot that I didn’t own a bike and had no idea how to work the gears on a bike!  This meant that the cycle leg was definitely the hardest part for me, as  cycling was something I hadn’t done until training for this challenge. Cycling through the French country side at 2am whilst sleep deprived was interesting. I ended up going off course and, in the words of Bonnie Tyler, I was ‘Lost in France’ for a while! Luckily, my team soon located me (by the side of a wooded area) and got me back on track.

The team on the banks of a river

My favourite part of the challenge was when the whole team got to swim into Wissant beach at the end of the Channel swim. We received such a warm welcome from the locals and we were all presented with a shell as a memento of the occasion.

Arriving at the Arc de Triomphe was empowering, as I had achieved something that at times during my training seemed so out of reach due to various injuries. Our team had an adventure of a lifetime - a 56 hour and 42 minute one!

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