Swimming Solo across the Channel then Cycling to Arc de Triomphe… read on….

In the week of 15th September I will be swimming solo across the Channel from Dover to near Calais, then cycling 181 miles to the Arc de Triomphe in aid of the Samaritans and The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Why would I undertake such a crazy challenge?

I’m doing this in memory of my friend Ant. Ant was the most energetic and driven person I’ve ever met. He thought nothing of training for his first Ironman whilst undertaking a higher level Open University Spanish course, being a committed member of the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team and having a demanding job leading a squadron of RAF engineers and technicians. He had a real wanderlust making friends around the world, loved reading and cheesy music, and could usually be found with a brew in one hand and a chocolate biscuit in the other!

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A Squadron Leader in the RAF, Ant had chosen a posting away from engineering, and trained as a military interpreter learning Dari. On 22 December 2011, whilst working in Afghanistan alongside Afghan troops, the vehicle he was travelling in was caught in an explosion. He died in the UK the next day from his injuries.
Words cannot describe how much he is missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

 

Ant was an awesome athlete who, among many achievements, had cycled across America unsupported in 25 days and completed the Enduroman Double Ironman with a 7.8k swim despite having no love of swimming. In 2012 he was due to undertake the Enduroman Arch to Arc challenge – a 87-mile run from Marble Arch to Dover, a Channel swim of 21 miles, then a 181-mile bike ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe.

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I know that, although he struggled with swimming, Ant would have given the training for such a huge endeavour everything he had. Any challenge that I undertook in memory of Ant had to be something special in order to honour the kind of person he was and what he meant to me. Joining the RAF had been a childhood dream for Ant. He didn’t publicise it much but he was also a Samaritan. Ant gave me enormous support on a couple of previous challenges so undertaking part of this challenge and raising money for Samaritans and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund seemed like a fitting way to pay tribute to him.

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Kim and Energised Performance are giving me great support in helping me prepare mentally for such a big undertaking. If you would like to help me support the great work both charities do to assist individuals and families in need then my sponsorship page is at:
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CharlieFrith

 

Thanks, Charlie