Qatar resident and lawyer, Perrine Fages has just returned to Doha from Europe after tackling one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges, the Enduroman Arch to Arc, which sees competitors run 140 km from the Marble Arch in London to Dover on the English Coast, swim the English channel and then bike 288 km from Calais to the Arc De Triumphe in Paris.
As one of the world’s toughest endurance events, it has been attempted by around 50 solo athletes, with only 27 (at the time of her attempt) having fully completed the challenge. Perrine was able to complete most of the monumental challenge, with only her swim being cut short by three nautical miles due to tidal conditions.
She started the challenge on 22 June, 5:30 am at Marble Arch, running the route to Dover in 16 hours 21 minutes, a record time, setting the fastest women’s solo run time and second fastest solo athlete run time (men’s and women’s) ever in Enduroman Arch to Arc history.
She set off swimming the channel at 6:25 am on 23 June, and crossed through the half way point in seven hours 30 minutes. However, as she reached close to the French coast, tidal conditions changed and behaved abnormally and it became apparent to her support team that it would be unsafe to keep her in the water. As such, it was necessary to remove Perrine from the water for safety reasons.
Though disappointed, as this meant Perrine would not receive a full finishers designation in the Enduroman Arch to Arc records, she showed great mental strength and determination to continue on to Paris.
With support from the organisers and her support team, she biked the 288 km to Paris in mere 17 hours 6 minutes.
Perrine finished the challenge undesignated in the records of the Enduroman Arch to Arc but was presented with a finisher’s medal by its founder Edgar Ette at the Arc De Triumphe. She did not earn the infamous # with number that designates a full finisher (as she had to end her channel swim early), but she has taken the respect and admiration of its founder, her family, her team and the thousands of people who followed online, shared content and took inspiration.
It was incredibly tough but in the end hugely rewarding. I really pushed myself to achieve something a few years ago, I would not have felt or dreamed possible. To balance work, personal life and training that was at its peak 40 hours a week on top of full time work is a huge commitment.’
She said that she while she still have an ‘unfinished’ business with the channel, she was thrilled overall.
I am thrilled to have gone from London to Paris under my own power. I want to thank my friends, family and coaches for all their support without which it would not have been possible. Who knows, if I can get some sponsors and support, I might go back to break the women’s record.’
For the challenge, Perrine’s head coach was Ryan Bowd of RnR Sport, with assistance from Tim Denyer a specialist channel swimming coach, Mat O’Halloran (swim coach) and Bobby at the Grand Hyatt, her personal trainer. Perrine’s next big challenge is competing in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii this year. She is currently supported by Huub Wetsuits.
To follow or contact Perrine, visit @perrinefage on Instagram. To learn more about the Enduroman Arch to Arc, check out enduroman.com.