5in5 challenge raises over £23,000
5in5, a challenge which saw a team complete five half ironmans in five days, finished on Saturday morning raising over £23,000 for the Cancer Relief Centre and the Gibraltar Cardiac Association.
The event finished with a 1.9km swim as three members of the 5in5 team, Charles Harrison, Adrian Lopez and Kerion Alvarez, stepped out of the water.
“It's awesome to be honest. At the beginning of the week, you think why are you doing all this again? But to finish it's brilliant. It’s a brilliant feeling to get over the line,” said Mr Harrison.
Over the course of five days, the team of determined individuals pushed their physical and mental limits, but they were not alone, unwavering support came from the Gibraltar community who either encourages, donated or took part in the events.
“It's more of a battle in your mind,” Mr Harrison said.
“You've got to make sure that your minds in the right place. I've struggled to be honest, this time I think more mentally and physically. Physically, I've been fine. Like I've been running very comfortably. I've been cycling and I have had shoulder issues on the bike but and I've been fine really. So emotionally and mentally I think has been probably the hardest part four of the five days.”
“It's because of the overwhelming support that we've had.”
“I just think thank you is not enough for everyone. I wish there was another word that I could say for thank you.”
“Every person that has been speaking to this week, just say the same thing. I said, without the community and without the support that we've had this wouldn't be impossible.”
“And it's not about Adrian, Keiron or myself. It's about everyone.”
“There's no words that can describe what I feel about the community and I think that's has actually triggered my emotions.”
“As the week has gone by just turning up every morning and seeing the support it's so overwhelming.”
On average over 60 people turned up each morning at 6am to take part in the 90km bike ride, dozens turned up at 10.30am for the half marathon 21km run and the same number for the 1.9km swim.
Mr Harrison added he wished that people could feel the gratitude that he has for the whole of Gibraltar.
“It's not just those that turned up. It's people out in the streets beeping, shouting, it's amazing.”
“It's an amazing feeling, but it's a feeling that that I want to share with the whole community. Like I said, this isn't about me and I don't want it to be about me. I want it to be about everyone in general and when it comes to this to this kind of thing Gib gets together we all come out and the numbers that have come out prove that.”
He also noted that none of it would be possible without some key people, their three wives, partners and children whose support has been invaluable. Mr Harrison and Mr Alvarez’ also noted how their colleagues from HM Customs were out every day marshalling the cyclists.
“I need to thank every single one of them that have been here supporting us. Some of them have run with us like Matthew who has been with me on the bike and he's stuck with me like if it was my shadow,” he said.
“I have also got to be also extremely grateful for Emma Foy, because honestly she's gone above and beyond in everything that she's done not just now but in the run up to the event she's been amazing.”
“My sister Cerianne who has done all our social media.”
“Alfred Ballester has been brilliant as has Ian from Figaro with the food.”
“We've had volunteers every day on the on the cargo bike with the water drinks.”
Praise was also given to the HM Customs colleagues who assisted with a vessel for the swim, to ensure that anyone who wanted to could take part as they were there ready to pull them out of the water should they suffer a cramp or any other situation.
Now that the challenge is over, thoughts turned to the future. Is a potential 5in5 in 2025 on the cards?
“I have said the first one was sort of a curtain raiser and see how it goes. This one's for the community with the community and I think there could be ‘one last dance’,” said Mr Harrison.