Five times a champion
February 12th 2016
Greg James has completed his BBC Radio 1 Gregathlon for Sport Relief and has raised a staggering £774,194.
The presenter was deliriously happy as he crossed the finish line, having clocked up an incredible 246.3 miles in a mammoth challenge which saw him run, swim and cycle a triathlon a day, for five consecutive days, across five UK cities.
“To everybody who donated, you’ve done it,” he said, minutes after finishing the challenge. “You’ve made the difference and you’ve changed lives."
The money Greg has raised will help transform the lives of people here in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.
During the week he battled aching joints and muscles, lack of sleep, freezing weather, a tumble from his bike due to seized up muscles and his toughest challenge in Glasgow – a 900m open water swim that saw him pulled from the icy cold water struggling to move.
Greg took in a different Sport Relief Games city each day of the challenge, starting from Belfast on Monday 8th January, followed by Cardiff, Glasgow, Sheffield and finishing in Norwich. A huge crowd cheered him over the finish line as he completed his final run at the BBC Norwich Studios, where he broadcast for the final time this week to the Radio 1 listeners who have followed him every step of the way.
“We did it!” he said as he crossed the finish line. “Five triathlons in five days in five cities. It’s been the most ridiculous, ludicrous week ever. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all of you. I can’t believe it’s happened.
“It’s been hard but if it’s made one person change their minds about supporting Sport Relief or supporting people who are not as fortunate as us then that’s job done. If it’s got someone to get on a bicycle, or go to someone to put their running shoes on and go for a run for Sport Relief, that’s job done too. It’s been the most amazing experience of my life.”
Despite the torturous conditions, Greg has retained his determination and positivity. Having seen first-hand how the money is used to make a difference, Greg has remained determined to raise as much cash as possible for Sport Relief and to inspire the nation to do their bit and get involved. In January Greg travelled to Jordan to meet displaced families living in desperate conditions. He visited a nursery within the Azraq refugee camp and saw how Comic Relief funding is helping to give young children back their childhoods. The money raised through Sport Relief could help more children like these get a vital education, and support their families to maintain a crucial sense of community.
You can still sponsor Greg for his amazing Gregathlon challenge here.
Inspired by Greg? Why not take on your own challenge by signing up to the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games which take place from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March. There are thousands of events across the UK with flagship Games in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Sheffield, Norwich and London.