For 22 hours the University of Bath campus was taken over by a glow of red as students pushed themselves to their limits to raise money for The Zoe Trust (www.zoetrust.org), a charity which aims to give children living in poverty in South Africa a chance to a brighter future through education. Over 80 students came together in an attempt to cover the 4051km of cycling and 929km of running required, completing a wide range of challenges from 5km runs and 40km cycles to 80km runs and 250km cycles.
As the clock struck 5pm on the 19th March and the sun shone down on parade, a group of athletes, including Ben Jessup the SU Sports Officer, huddled together for a photo before getting into the racing position ready for the challenge to commence. As the runners set out around the 5km run course the cyclists mounted their bikes turning the first pedal strokes. From that point on the students didn’t look back as they raced towards their target continuing throughout the night as the temperature dropped and the stars came out. A bobbing light could be seen throughout the night running around the university lanes and the tyres never ceased as the cycling continued on parade. The SU president Jordan Kenny joined the cycling team at 2:30am to pedal through the night and into the early hours of the morning. Throughout the night cheers rang out as some amazing personal challenges were completed. As students started arriving for lectures at 9:15 the red continued to dominate campus as more and more students got involved. The students were met by Ben Jessup, who kept the early morning cyclists company. With the sun once again shining, laughter ringing out across parade and feet pattering through the forest there was no time for rest as the challenge continued. Parade fell quiet only once as the athletes took a few seconds break to join the excited onlookers and catch a glimpse of the eclipse.
The final few hours were nerve wracking as the last pedal strokes were turned and eyes fixed on the end of parade we waited anxiously for the arrival of the final runners. With only minutes to spare Alberto, Issac and Felix came into view to cheers, laughter and clapping. Between them they had run a staggering 180km! The 22 hours was up and the distance of 22 Iron Mans had been completed!
The atmosphere, commitment and determination of the University of Bath students was phenomenal. The generosity, kindness and passion each student showed as they went above and beyond their comfort zone to raise money for the trust was mind blowing. Each individual pushed themselves in order to give children living in poverty in South Africa the chance to a brighter future. The event has already raised over £1500 for The Zoe Trust however there is still time to donate at virginmoneygiving.com/cc2015.
The Zoe trust would like to thank everyone who took part in the event both in a sporting and supporting capacity including the Students Union Officers, Students Union Sports Staff, SITEC, PwC, DB max and Nuun.
Photos by Michael Powell, Sports Editor