Paul Parrish on Channel boatPaul Parrish aims to raise £15,000 by attempting the world’s hardest triathlon

On 14th Sept 2014 Paul Parrish, Director of Fundraising and Marketing for Aspire, will be attempting the world’s hardest triathlon – the infamous “Arch to Arc”.  In 14 years, only 15 people have successfully completed it and, at 49 years old, Paul will be one of the oldest people to attempt the task. 

About the Arch 2 Arc

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.

Three years of maintaining an eye-watering training schedule, bringing up a family and holding down a full time job has seen Paul juggling a full life whilst attempting to realise his dream. 

Paul believes the challenge is achievable but fears swimming the English Channel more than anything, commenting: “The Channel is monstrous – a quite ridiculous undertaking in its own right.  It is the equivalent in effort of running 87 miles and then being asked to jog up Everest, before the cycling.”

In the lead up to his attempt Paul has completed a Double Ironman (4.8 mile swim, 224 mile cycle ride and a 52 mile run) and two triple Iron distances (7.2 mile swim, 336 mile bike ride and 78 mile run, which is continuous with no breaks).

About Paul

What makes Paul’s attempt more astonishing is his inauspicious background. 13 years ago Paul weighed 15½ stone, was drinking to life threatening levels and was a chain smoker.  He could no longer use public transport to get to meetings because his battered metabolism would overheat so much, and he suffered from breathlessness and pins and needles just climbing stairs.

Paul says: “I guess I am testament to the fact that within us we have the chance to change.  It isn’t easy, I would never say that, but it is possible.  And trust me; it is far preferable to carrying on with a destructive life pattern.  I would like to show people like me that there is hope and that some of the same attributes that keep them drinking and smoking can be used to aid a better life of personal achievement.” 

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

Fundraising for Aspire

Paul will be raising money for Aspire, the spinal injury charity at which he is a senior manager.  He says: “People sometimes say that what I do is inspiring, but every day that I am at work I am surrounded by staff and spinally injured people who are truly inspirational.  I am privileged to be able to do what I do and it is an honour to support Aspire.”

Aspire provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by a spinal cord injury.

To sponsor Paul:      

Read Paul’s blog:        

Follow Paul on Twitter:          @PaulParrish2