Interviewed by: Zaher El Helou
beIN SPORTS employee Perrine Fages has recently broken the women’s record in the toughest solo triathlon ever, the Enduroman which links London to Paris.
Perrine, who works as a lawyer for the Doha based broadcast company, is originally a professional mountaineer and marathon runner, who participated in many competitions before moving to Qatar. The French national only started cycling three years ago when she moved to Doha after “getting a dream job offer” from beIN.
Whilst in Doha, Fages added cycling to her sports activities and found tremendous sports facilities across the country, such the world-renowned Aspire Zone and Aspetar medical hospital.
Before moving to Qatar, Fages competed in the marathons and mountain climbing events, but never competed in the triathlon: “Three years back I moved here and I started cycling in Doha, where the facilities are amazing, and the improvements were very fast”.
Perrine quickly developed her endurance skills in Doha before competing in her first triathlon: “My first triathlon was an Ironman five months after training, which consists 3.8 KM swimming, 180 km cycling and a marathon”.
Her first achievement at the IRONMAN unlocked her hidden talents “After the first IRONMAN , I realized I can do anything, so I accomplished five more IRONMAN events, six half-distance, and lots of cycling events.”
Things developed very quickly for Perrine, and she started to look for a new challenge, “After I competed in few IRONMAN competitions, I thought I want a bigger challenge, and I looked through the net where I found this unique event Enduroman”.
Looking in-depth into this event, we found, it is an ultra-distance triathlon challenge; called The Enduroman Arch 2 Arc, a journey aims to connect London to Paris by running, swimming and cycling.
Each athlete starts their journey from Marble Arch in London, where the clock starts to tick, and never stop before reaching the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, after finishing 140 km running, then swimming the Channel, before ending by cycling 288 km.
Note that to-date only 35 athletes, male or female, have successfully completed the challenge. After consulting a few experts specializing in the open water swimming, Perrine got the green light to participate in this challenge where she started training in Doha, swimming 16 hours weekly.
During her first attempt, Perrine, couldn’t finish the swimming phase after tidal conditions changed, and the organizers decided to not continue for her safety though she was very close to the French coast.
Two months later, last August, Perrine, took on the challenge one more time, without having completely recovered from her first attempt, and this time she faced up to and overcame all the obstacles overcoming her , reaching the Arc de Triomphe with a new woman’s record of 67h 21m, breaking the previous record that was held by her compatriot Marine Leuleu (69h 52m).
Perrine, who completely financed her participation and training, has qualified for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii, and is looking now for a new challenge: “I won’t participate in the Enduroman next year, I am looking for a different challenge”.