Extreme triathlon for Arnaud de Meester
Ultra-triathlete from Brussels gets from London to Paris in one go, running 140 km, swimming across the English Channel (over 40 km) and cycling 290 km.
Few have succeeded in the challenge of getting from London to Paris in a triathlon. It is therefore an extraordinary feat that this 51-year-old Belgian has just achieved by successfully finishing the three stages of the Enduroman, also known as “Arch2Arc”, as the start is given at Marble Arch (on the corner of Hyde Park and Oxford Street) while the finishing line is at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe (at the top of the Champs Elysées).
This extreme triathlon was set up in 2000 by Edgar Ette, from Great Britain. He was the first to accomplish the feat. Only 51 athletes were able to complete the route, an extraordinary course that involves running 140 km from London to Dover, then swimming 40 to 45 km across the English Channel before finally “savouring” 290 km cycling from Calais to Paris.
The most difficult challenge was swimming across the English Channel, the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest for a mountaineer, as the sea traffic makes the passage perilous with powerful eddies. In the end, the man from Brussels achieved the feat in 71 hours 55 minutes (21 hours 28 minutes running, 17 hours 44 minutes swimming and 10 hours 32 minutes cycling), all with limited physical recovery time between the three events.
In the challenge’s over 20 years of existence, Arnaud de Meester has become the 52nd man to receive the honorary title of Enduroman. He is also the second Belgian to achieve the feat, after Julien Deneyer from Namur, who succeeded in his second attempt in 2019.