A battered, bruised but deliriously happy Greg James crossed the finish line of his BBC Radio 1 Gregathlon for Sport Relief at 4.15pm yesterday 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.
“It’s been the most amazing experience of my life. To everybody who donated, you’ve done it. You’ve made the difference and you’ve changed lives” – Greg James
of 17:35 on Friday, Greg had raised an incredible £774,194 for Sport Relief, which 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 today in Norwich. A huge crowd cheered him on at 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.
As Greg crossed the finish line he said: “Oh my God. We did it. 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.”
Famous friends have joined Greg along the way, including All Time Low, Example, Kimberly Wyatt, Jim Chapman, Jimmy Anderson, Mollie King and Nick Grimshaw. Fellow Radio 1 DJ and Presenter Alice Levine has been cheering him on the whole way, and co-presenting his show every evening from 4pm.
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.