A total of 724 new people have entered the London Classics Hall of Fame following this year’s Swim Serpentine.
Olympic medallists Leon Taylor and Gail Emms are among those to have joined the select list of people who have completed the trio of iconic challenges: the Virgin Money London Marathon, Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and two-mile Swim Serpentine.
Taylor, who won a silver medal in diving at the 2004 Athens Olympics, completed the London Marathon in 2012 and has done both the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and Swim Serpentine this year.
He said: “Swim Serpentine suits me best with my diving background and I was also a competitive swimmer when I was younger so the swim was much more comfortable than running the London Marathon or riding the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.
“In fact after the wet weather at this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 I was just as wet after that then I was after Swim Serpentine!”
Gail Emms, who won a silver medal in badminton at the 2004 Olympics, also completed two legs of the London Classics in this calendar year, finishing both the two miles at Swim Serpentine and the 100 miles at Prudential RideLondon, adding to the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon she completed in 2009.
Emms said: “When I retired from elite sport, I knew that I would have to find challenges not only to keep my fitness going but to also allow me to step outside my comfort zone like I did when training for the Olympic Games.
“Being part of iconic events such as the Virgin Money London Marathon, Prudential RideLondon and Swim Serpentine has not only pushed me in my training but allowed me to see sport in another way through mass participation and the people around me. It’s been incredibly emotional but I want to show my boys that they can be proud of their mum.”
EastEnders actor Sam Attwater completed all his London Classics in the calendar year to raise funds for The Children’s Trust.
Attwater, who won the sixth series of Dancing on Ice, said: “Before this year I had not run 5k, so I ran the Virgin Money London Marathon. I hadn’t ridden a bike in 20 years, so I did Prudential RideLondon and I was not really a swimmer and did Swim Serpentine. So I have ticked all them off in one year now!
“I have done it all to raise money for The Children’s Trust. I actually thought you had to do it all in a year, it was only after doing Swim Serpentine that I found out that wasn’t the case! I’m glad I did it and I’m sure I will come back and do this again. Maybe not next year but I have some targets to beat now!”
Attwater is still taking sponsorship for his 2018 London Classics challenge. To donate to his cause, click here.
As well as the 724 new people added to the London Classics Hall of Fame, five people earned their second London Classics medal by completing the triumvirate of challenges for a second time.
Among those was Jeremy Joseph, owner of London’s famous G-A-Y nightclub, who for a second year in a row completed the London Classics in one 12-month period.
The other members of the exclusive double London Classics club are: Judy Saunders, Caroline Gourri, Stuart Millington and Olivia Poole.