Disabled triathletes face Channel in Arch to Arc endurance test


Disabled military triathletes will brave the waves of the English Channel today in the battle to reach Paris.

Favourable tides are expected to help the 24 swimmers from the Army, Navy and RAF to the coast of France on the second day of their 300 mile journey from London to the French capital which is billed as the world's hardest triathlon.

The fastest team is expected to cross in 12 hours, while the stragglers should be in within 15 hours.

The first relay team was hoping to depart Shakespeare Beach below the white cliffs of Dover at 5am.

An all-female group of disabled current and former servicewomen is aiming to break a world record for completing the gruelling London to Paris triathlon, supported by model Jodie Kidd who is cycling much of the route.

Some competitors used wheelchairs for yesterday's run, from Marble Arch to the south coast, while others will pedal hand cycles from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe.

The aim of the Enduroman Arch to Arc challenge is to restore a sense of purpose to lives changed by traumatic injuries from improvised explosives in Afghanistan or other conditions, organisers the Help for Heroes sports recovery organisation said.

The wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans ran 87 miles from Marble Arch to Dover, will swim the English Channel, then cycle 181 miles to Paris.