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.
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.
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 â€˜Ironmanâ€™ Pete Lewis.
Three times a week since January â€“ even in school holidays – they took part in early morning training sessions on their way towards their Ironman-athon, 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.
Paula Deverill, Testway Transform charity co-ordinator, whose idea it was to launch the challenge, was delighted with the outcome and the dedication of her team.
â€œTestway 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.
â€œBefore we started they would have laughed if weâ€™d have told them they could achieve so much. We know they will go from strength to strength from here.â€
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.
26 June 1007
Please use the thumbnails above to link you to photographs of the event.