Three University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) swimming club alumni are tackling the World’s longest triathlon to raise money for two worthwhile charities, starting on Thursday, June 9.

Edmund Salt (2007 Civil Engineering), Luke Swain (2005 Geology) and Thomas Reader (2005 Sport and Exercise Science), who were active members of the UBSport swimming club during their time at the University of Birmingham, are part of a team ‘Urban Fitness GB’ who are attempting to complete ‘The Arch 2 Arc’ challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and the Fire Fighters Charity.

The challenge consists of an 87 mile run from the Marble Arch in London to Dover, followed by a 21 mile swim across the English Channel, ending with a 181 mile bike ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The trio, along with their three teammates Dave Grigg, Rob Baird and Stu Baker, will be in rotation throughout the event with an intense hour on, followed by five hours off in bid to beat the current World Record of 37 hours and 15 minutes and raise £15,000 for their chosen charities.

For the team to get physically and mentally prepared for the gruelling challenge they turned to the UBSport Hi Performance Centre (HPC) who not only provided fitness testing, but also looked at the importance of Sport Science behind the race by advising them on practicalities such as pacing strategies.

UBSport Senior Sport Scientist Eleanor Jones said: ‘The HPC team were really privileged to work with team Urban Fitness GB in their Arch 2 Arc challenge. Looking at their data back in February I was slightly nervous about their chances – but the guys have taken the feedback on board, improving massively in our last testing session before the race. They’re in great shape and odds-on for a new World Record.’

Edmund Salt, who was a UBSport club captain for the swimming team, said: ‘We approached UBSport because of the ties we still have with the University and knew that their advice would be invaluable to helping us improve our fitness and performance.’
He continued: ‘The HPC were fantastic and extremely professional; they explained the process thoroughly and ensured we were comfortable with what needed to take place over the course of the testing.

‘The Sports Science testing we had access to through them was world-class. This type of opportunity and support, twinned with the superb attitude and professionalism of UBSport, can only improve our performances, and now the chance of breaking the World Record is a real possibility.’

The team are due to start the race on Thursday, June 9 from Marble Arch at 1730 BST.

UBSport wishes the team all the best.

Photo L-R: Thomas Reader, Luke Swain, Edmund Salt, Dave Grigg, Stu Baker, Robert Baird.