Sir George blew the whistle to launch Harroway School's Iron Man-athon
The 16-strong team, made up of mainly 12-16 year olds from Harrow Way Community School, finished the Testway Transform Ironman Challenge in style. It was the biggest challenge that most of the people in the group had ever taken on but with grit and determination they did it.
Between them they completed, in just over three hours, an Ironman Challenge of their own - a 112 mile cycle ride, a 2.4 mile swim and a full 26.2 mile marathon, one after the other!
The fitness novices were mainly overweight, unfit or lacking in confidence (or all three) before they started the six-month training programme under the watchful eye of local ‘Ironman’ Pete Lewis.
Three times a week since January – even in school holidays - they took part in early morning training sessions on their way towards their Ironmanathon, started by Andover MP, Sir George Young, at the swimming pool in Farleigh School at 8am on Monday morning.
Now they feel happier, stronger and fitter and ready to take on new life challenges.
Sir George congratulated Paula Deverill, Testway Transform Charity co-ordinator, whose idea it was, for successfully launching the challenge and seeing it through.
Paula said “Testway Transform is all about investing in individuals so that they can improve their own communities. We are extremely proud of the success and sheer guts shown by these young people. They have been magnificent.
“Before we started they would have laughed if we’d have told them they could achieve so much. We know they will go from strength to strength from here.”
Harrow Way is to run another challenge next year and the Ironman Challenge may be rolled out to new schools.
Testway Transform is the charity arm of Testway Housing and supports local community groups and projects. The charity will soon be launching a Money Box to help financially support local groups with their activities.
With thanks to Andy Brooks for the photos.