What is the Arch to Arc?

The Arch to Arc is a mega-triathlon from Marble Arch in London to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It involves an 87 mile ultra-marathon run from London to Dover, a 21mile swim across the English Channel and then a 181mile bike ride from Calais to Paris. When it is raced in a relay format it is classically done by 6 individuals doing an hour of exercise and then 5 hours off. Vickie and I will be the first 2 person team to attempt the Arch to Arc and we intend to break the 40hour barrier which will challenge some of the fastest 6-person relay teams. To make it even more unique Vickie will do the entire 87mile run, I will do the Channel swim and we will relay the bike ride (got to play to our strengths, plus I don't like running).

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hell of the North Cotswolds

This ever popular classic cycling event, promoted jointly by Winchcombe CC and Cheltenham & County CC, starts from the picturesque Cotswold Town of Winchcombe and 2015 is the 31st year of the event.  The first event in 1984 was the brainchild of the late Pat Smith and Tim Groom who had ridden the Paris-Roubaix sportif and wanted to bring the flavour of that event to the Cotswolds. The event has taken place in April each year except for two occasions. In 1986 it was abandoned due to deep snow, making it impossible to travel and so it was postponed to September. Also, in 2001, when we had the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, a similar postponement also occurred.  Last year the event attracted over 1100 riders.

Sunny Cotswolds

The event is aimed at experienced riders and there is a 100km route for the very experienced & fit riders and a 50km route for those who know how just how tough the off-road Cotswold Hills can be!  Ollie and I signed up for the 100km route (why ever not!?!) and managed to persuade Jon Cranston to join us.  We became a bit worried about Jon completing the 100km option during a big carbo-loading pasta meal the night before when he confessed that he had not had very much time to train, but that we were not to worry as he had been out on his bike a couple of times to check that everything worked!  Respect to Cranners – he completed the whole thing in under 10 hours with little more than a bit of cramp in his back!

Half way treats!

The event was great fun.  Ollie had a bit of sense of humour failure coming back over Cleeve Hill in what were some pretty windy conditions, but otherwise he finished feeling good and no complaints from his ticker!  I was happy – the conditions had been dry, the Cotswold countryside was stunning (as always), the mid-point food station was stocked with LOADS of REALLY TASTY snacks and I only had one annoying puncture and a tiny bit of saddle sore.  I don’t think I’d want to do this event on a wet and muddy day, but we were really lucky this year and I’d like to think I’ll be back to do this again in the future!

Finishing medals