Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

RAF woman makes challenge history

Flight Lieutenant Rachael Cadman after swimming the Channel to France
Flight Lieutenant Rachael Cadman is the first woman to complete the Enduroman Arch2Arc Challenge

A 30-year-old RAF officer has become the first woman to complete a gruelling London to Paris endurance challenge.

Flight Lieutenant Rachael Cadman set off on Friday afternoon from Marble Arch in the Enduroman Arch2Arc Challenge and crossed the Champs Elysees finish line on Tuesday afternoon, 97 hours and 37 minutes later.

The event involves an 87-mile run from London to Dover, a 23-mile Channel swim and a 187-mile cycle from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe.

Only seven men have ever completed the challenge, for which the record is 81 hours.

Flt Lt Cadman said: "It was pretty daunting, but I have been working up to this for some time and raising money for Help for Heroes and Shelter Box disaster relief is a great motivation to see it through.

"The great thing about being in the Royal Air Force is that, as an organisation, it is committed to helping people reach their potential and achieve their ambitions.

"I have had a great deal of support from the RAF with flexibility over training and competing."

The triathlete had battled heavy swell and 25-knot winds as she swam through the night for 16 hours.

Flt Lt Cadman's Commanding Officer, Air Commodore Barbara Cooper, said: "Everyone in the RAF is extremely proud of Rachael. She has incredible determination and no shortage of courage to be undertaking a challenge of this magnitude.

"We all wish her every success."

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