Record-breaking St Albans Enduroman’s charity success
- Credit: Archant
It is the charity fundraising challenge that leaves all the others standing – and super Ironman Paul Parrish has done it.
At the tender age of 49, the former journalist has become the oldest person to complete the gruelling Arch to Arc event, the world’s hardest triathlon, and has been dubbed Enduroman 20 to mark his triumph as the 20th person to complete the event since it began in 2001.
Paul, who lives with his family in Wheathampstead, is director of fundraising and marketing for Aspire and by taking part in the Arch to Arc, he has raised thousands of pounds for the charity.
To add to his personal achievement, he finished the challenge with the sixth fastest overall time of 84 hours 44 minutes.
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 Arc challenge at 8pm on Saturday, September 13, setting off from Marble Arch and arriving in Dover 21 hours 55 minutes later.
He began his swim across the English Channel at midday on Monday, September 15, finishing at Wissant at 5.25am on Tuesday after swimming for 17 hours 25 minutes.
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At 1pm he set off on the 180-mile cycle ride to Paris arriving at the Arc de Triomphe on Wednesday, September 17, after cycling for 20 hours 44 minutes.
Paul, who was previously director of fundraising at Grove House in St Albans, said: “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.”
Paul added: “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...”
So far Paul has raised over £21,000 for Aspire, which provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by a spinal cord injury.
Brian Carlin, CEO of Aspire, commented: “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.”