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Profile

Chris Spencer

Arch 2 Arc

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p][b]INSPIRING... or just plain DUMB by trying to run 87 miles from London to Dover, swim the english channel and then cycle 181 miles to Paris?![/b][/p][p][b][i]On this day (22 June 2019) exactly five years ago[/i][/b], I was was involved in an accident with a car which pulled out of a T junction just in front of me while I was cycling down a hill. I broke my back (fracturing 11 vertebrae from my neck to my bottom), lost an inch in height as a result, suffered extensive internal bleeding, broken ribs, punctured lungs and all the usual cuts and bruises that go with a head on collision at ~50km/hr. [/p][p]Looking back I consider myself extremely lucky. Not only was I alive… but by some miracle, my spinal cord had not severed. I was also fortunate enough to have passed another cyclist (Robin, who just happened to be St John’s Ambulance trained) a mile before - he saw the horror unfold in front of him and was by my side within minutes of the crash. The ambulance crew said that his training and quick thinking almost certainly saved me from being paralysed for life. Thank you Robin, I will be forever in your debt for everything you did for me on that sunny Sunday morning.[/p][p]Over the following months and years (including three back operations), I worked hard to try to recover both body and mind. Being open, that journey is ongoing - it’s tough to have that sort of knock without there being some long term damage, both physically and mentally. However, above everything, I refused to become a victim and I have continued to push hard and not let the accident or injuries define me. Yes I am in pain every day - but I have found a way to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable. With that in mind…[/p][p][b][i]On this day… in exactly one month[/i][/b], I will be attempting an ultra triathlon called the “Arch 2 Arc”... a solo ultra triathlon that starts with an 87 mile run from London (Marble Arch) to Dover, then a swim across the English Channel and finally a 181 mile cycle from Calais to Paris (Arc de Triomphe) to complete the event. [/p][p]It is arguably the toughest ultra triathlon on the planet... and one that only 35 individuals have completed in its 18 years. It’s a bonkers thing to attempt for anyone, let along someone with back injuries. So why am I attempting it when there are perfectly good planes, ferries and trains that will get me there quicker, cheaper and safer?! Simple really:[/p][p]* I want to help raise money and awareness for mental health - the positive power of it when we have the confidence to believe in ourselves… and its destructive power if we leave our inner critic unchecked. I have chosen a charity called “Heads Together” because they bring together a coalition of charities, with decades of experience in tackling the stigma around mental health in the UK.[/p][p]* To show others that despite what life throws at us, there is hope if we are willing to accept and work for it.[/p][p]* And to thank Robin and my family and friends (many of you in fact) who helped me through my own physical and especially mental challenges… no person is an island and no matter how bad things might seem, with help we can work through it. [/p][p]We often focus on physical ailments and ignore or suppress emotional challenges for fear of being stigmatised or appearing weak. My physical injuries were extensive so I focussed everything on fixing what I saw was broken. I didn’t want to accept that there was also an emotional impact and I am not ashamed to admit that I went through some really dark patches as a result until I took my head out of the sand. [/p][p]I am not an ultra athlete or a hero or invincible or even Ironman (as my children used to say). I am just Mr Ordinary… human, broken, flawed and vulnerable… but still daring to achieve something extraordinary despite the odds.[/p][p]Hopefully by sharing my own journey, I can raise money to help others through mental and emotional challenges and also raise awareness that mental health is just as important as physical health.[/p][p][b]My commitment to you [/b] [/p][p]I’ll be honest, my chances of success are slim. I think the run will be okay. The swim will be incredibly tough on my back injuries on top of all the usual challenges that swimming the English Channel brings. The cycle will just hurt from start to finish - my back doesn’t like the position on a bike after my accident… and candidly, just being on a bike on open roads now scares me witless![/p][p]Regardless, I will commit to giving it absolutely everything that I have both physically and mentally over the 80-90 hours I think it will take me to finish (or part thereof if I don’t make it the whole way). That is my way of showing my gratitude for your support and confidence in me not just through this attempt but also over the last five years. [/p][p][b]My ask of you[/b][/p][p]1/ Help me raise money for a great cause and thereby help others that are in need.[/p][p]2/ Share this story with your friends / colleagues to help raise awareness for mental health.[/p][p]3/ Follow my attempt and wish me luck / encouragement… I will need it![/p][p]I will share a link to a tracker when the time comes for all who want to follow my attempt / pain![/p][p]Thanks, Chris[/p]
Arch 2 Arc image 1
Arch 2 Arc image 2

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Event

Personal Challenge Date

22 Jul 2019

Supporters

Jul 18, 2019

Anonymous

Good luck Chris! Amazing challenge!

Jul 18, 2019

Anonymous

Good luck Chris, but you must be mad.

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

Jeremy Charles

Chris, as ever, inspiring.......! Good luck and wish you well. Best Jeremy

£150.00 plus £37.50 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

Lisa R

Wow, what a challenge! Good luck Chris!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

Mary B

Good luck Chris! :)

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

J

I know you have wanted to do this for years. I hope you succeed!

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

Kelly W

Good luck you crazy man!!!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

Matt Davey

Best of luck Chris !

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

Mandie B

Chris, An amazing feat you are trying to complete, all for a very worthy cause. Wishing you the very best of luck, will be rooting for you!

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2019

Bradley

Best of luck Chris!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid