On 17th September Paul Parrish, Director of Fundraising and Marketing for Aspire, became “Enduroman 20”, and the oldest person to successfully complete the infamous “Arch to Arc”, the world’s hardest triathlon.  Paul, 49 years old, is also only the 20th person ever to have completed the triathlon since it began in 2001.  He finished the challenge  with the 6th fastest overall time of 84 hours 44 minutes.  
Paul has been fundraising for Aspire by taking on the challenge, and has so far raised over £21,000 for the charity, which provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by a spinal cord injury.

The Arch to Arc starts with an 87 mile run from Marble Arch to Dover, followed by swimming the English Channel solo, and finally, cycling the 180 miles to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Paul started his Arch to Arch challenge on Saturday 13th September at 8pm, setting off from Marble Arch at 8pm and arriving in Dover 21 hours 55 minutes later.  He began his swim across the English Channel on Monday 15th September at midday, landing at Wissant at 5.25am on Tuesday, after swimming for 17 hours 25 minutes.   He then set off on the 180 mile cycle ride to Paris at 1pm, arriving at the Arc de Triomphe on Wednesday 17th September after cycling for 20 hours 44 minutes.   His total overall time was 84 hours 44 minutes.

Paul says: “I am absolutely delighted to have successfully completed the Arch to Arc. The sense of achievement has yet to set in. However, I have been humbled by the hundreds of messages of support I received from all over and that sustained me during my darker moments. Even more than this was the generosity of people who donated to Aspire before and during the event. My crew kept me updated with fundraising totals and it was the selfless giving that ensured I would not give up.

Swimming the Channel was by far the hardest part of the event both mentally and physically. Needless to say the Parrish family will not be having a seaside holiday next year...”

Brian Carlin, CEO of Aspire, comments: “All of us at Aspire are in awe of Paul’s dedication over the last few years to becoming an Enduroman by completing the Arch to Arc.  To have completed the challenge at all, let alone with the sixth fastest time, is an incredible accomplishment.  Not only that, but by doing the Arch to Arc Paul has raised over £21,000 for Aspire.  For an individual to raise that amount is a fantastic achievement, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported both Paul and Aspire.”

Paul currently lives in Hertfordshire.  He grew up in Lincoln, where he still has family, and studied at the University of Birmingham.

To sponsor Paul:                                www.justgiving.com/PaulParrishArch2Arc
Read Paul’s blog:                                http://paulsarch2arc.blogspot.co.uk/
For further information, photographs and to interview Paul, please contact Laura Haynes, Communications Manager at Aspire, on 020 8420 8957 or email [email protected]