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5in5 athletes inspire community spirit with gruelling charity challenge

Adrian Lopez [left] is embraced by his mum Antonia as he and Keiron Alvarez [right] emerge from the sea at the end of the ‘5in5’ challenge they completed on Saturday together with fellow athlete Charles Harrison [pictured below]. Photos by Stephen Ignacio

The three athletes who last week embarked on a gruelling challenge to complete five ‘half ironmans’ in as many days defied physical exhaustion and challenging weather conditions to seal the feat on Saturday, bolstered by heartfelt support from across the community.

Each day involved a 90km cycle followed by a 21km run and a 1.9km swim, with the athletes accompanied during each stage by committed supporters and cheered on by well-wishers thrilled and inspired by their feat of endurance.

Charles Harrison, Adrian Lopez and Keiron Alvarez undertook the ‘5in5’ challenge to raise funds for Cancer Relief Gibraltar and Cardiac Association Gibraltar.
By Saturday, even before the final day’s effort, they had raised over £23,000, with money still coming in.

Speaking as the athletes emerged from the final swim to cheers and hugs from family, friends and supporters, Mr Alvarez reflected less on the physical ordeal and more on the backing the athletes had received throughout.

“It’s been overwhelming, the amount of support we’ve had from the community,” he told the Chronicle.

“It’s been unreal.”

John Charles Camilleri, a supporter who accompanied the three men on each cycling leg of the challenge, underscored the immense “effort and sacrifice” required to complete the feat.

Emma Foy, who ran with them each day, described the challenge as “awesome” and reflected on the support the athletes had received throughout.

“It’s amazing how much the community has supported everyone involved,” she said.

Among those waiting to greet the three athletes at the end of the challenge was the Mayor, Christian Santos.

“What they’ve done is not only admirable physically, but also the motive behind it,” Mr Santos said.

“It’s a reflection of the community we live in, a community we should be very proud of.”

This is the second time the three men have embarked on the ‘5in5’ challenge and on Saturday, even as he emerged tired but elated from the sea, Mr Alvarez was already looking ahead.

Asked if he would do it again, he replied simply: “Definitely.”

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