Join Team Arc to Arch

Two years ago, I organised a four day, 160 mile running challenge for a group of friends. We ran from the Arc du Triomphé in Paris to Marble Arch in London.

One of the guys who took park contacted me last week – ‘Mate, I want to do it again. What do you reckon?’ If it were anyone else, I’d have said no. But Scot’s a different sort and I couldn’t help but tell him I’d look into it. So here I am, looking into it…

The question is – would you like to join us? Are there any people out there who are interested in running 160 miles over 4 days (including a 60 mile day)? Yes? You are? Well read on…

I have to be absolutely explicit here – it’s not for flaky people. You have to be serious and committed about it. I’ve tried to put some details below:

Who is doing it?
Good question. At the minute there’s Scott, AndyWG and I, and another friend of Scot’s. A few people have talked about ‘potentially’ doing it. We’re hoping some more will commit. There are likely to be a limit on the number of places

Why are you doing it?
A couple of reasons. One is because Scott made me, and he’s a big guy! The others are that it’s a hell of a thing to do (some parts of the run are absolutely stunning – imagine running past a chateaux in blistering sunshine and then a few days later running across a bridge at the M25!
The other reason is charity – We will run for an as yet unnamed but very important charity. We will give them our full support, raise some awareness and hopefully some cash!

What experience do I need?
You need to be a runner. You need to know you are mentally strong and can undertake long, arduous runs over a number of days. HOWEVER – this isn’t an elite event. Time is not an issue and it’s certainly not a race. There are no prizes.

When is it?
We haven’t confirmed it yet, but it is likely to be the last weekend in July – weekend of 25th. It’ll be four days, so either Thurs-Sun or similar.

What is included?
Honestly? Not a lot! We haven’t sorted logistics yet – it’s a chicken and egg thing as we’ll need to sort numbers. I can tell you what we did a couple of years ago, though…
There were a couple of support vehicles who met us every 10km or so and were on hand for help, medical stuff and guidance. We stayed in cheap hotels fairly local to the route. We ate together, ran in pods (rules stated nobody can run on their own) and shared rooms. Travel to Paris was ad-hoc. Some of us simply met at the Arc du Triomphé on the morning we started to run. Maps and gpx files were given to all runners, as well as rough check point locations.

What is not included?
Medals, tee shirts and goody bags. But we might have a cuddle at the end. I can’t even promise great weather.

How much will it cost?
This is a great unknown at the minute and depends on a number of factors. One thing I can promise you is that we’re not trying to make a single penny in profit from this and everything will be done on a shoestring. The hotels, for example, cost us about £15 each per night a couple of years ago. You will pay an equal share of:
– Food
– Accommodation
– Transport (including minibus support)
We are not talking hundreds upon hundreds of pounds but consider that you must get to Paris, get a boat back, stay over in a few places and eat a lot. Once I find out how many we have involved and what corporate sponsorship we can get, I can get a clearer idea of costs.

What if I can’t run the whole thing?
If you want to be a part of the challenge but don’t think you can run the entire thing then why not be a part of the support team? We couldn’t do this without people who are willing to help us out through the goodness of their own hearts. There’s potential to work support on rotation – if we have a few people who drive/run/cycle then everyone could get to do a bit of everything. Let us know when you contact us that this is the case.

Can you guarantee me a spot?
Not yet, no. It’s highly unlikely that you’d be rejected, but I have to be honest in that we’ll need to check that everyone who wants to do it can (probably) do it and is safe to do it. People will have to understand that they do it on the understanding that they are ultimately responsible for themselves. Although this will be laid back, fun and friendly, it must also be safe – so we need to know you will be safe. We obviously won’t take any money from people until we agree you can take part. We will require deposits to confirm your taking part and to encourage people not to drop out.

I’m interested – what do I do next?
Give me a shout. Simple as that. If you want to run the entire thing, a part of it or none of it, give me a shout. We can’t do this without support drivers/crew – so if this is what you’d like to do, then please do. We will aim to heavily subsidise the costs of support crew.

I want to help, but not run – can I?
YES! This is essential. We need support driver and crew. We could also do with a couple of people who can ride with the runners and go back and forth with supplies etc. If you work for or run a company that could offer financial support or supplies, then let us know. Do you have access to a minibus or something like that? Key links with industry? Then we need you!

It sounds awful – is it?
No it bloody isn’t, you cheeky bugger. It sounds it, but that’s because you can’t see my big grin as I type this. It’s a lot of fun and you get to learn a lot about yourself and the other people on the run. We bonded as a group and had an incredible time. Be a part of something special!


So that’s it, folks. If this sounds like something you want to know more about, or want to be involved in, then let me know. I’ll compile a list of people who think they might want to take part and will take it a little further in the next week or so.
Give me an email at or comment below

Or just give me a bit of encouragement on Twitter!

Below are some pictures of the 2012 edition.


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