The owner of the famous G-A-Y nightclubs Jeremy Joseph has become one of the first people to complete the iconic London Classics sporting challenge – and he did the last leg alongside a gang of co-workers from his London and Manchester clubs.
The London Classics is a challenge like no other requiring people to complete three of London’s most iconic mass-participation events: The Virgin Money London Marathon, Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and a two mile swim at Swim Serpentine.
As a veteran of eight London Marathons, Joseph is well used to racking up the running miles but cycling and swimming have been new disciplines for him to master.
He completed the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 in July – a 100-mile cycling challenge that starts at the Olympic Park, heads out to the Surrey Hills before returning to a finish on The Mall – and said afterwards ‘no one told me how hard it would be’.
That left Joseph with one final challenge – the two-mile open water test of Swim Serpentine last Saturday [16 September].
Joseph swam the one mile distance at last year’s Swim Serpentine which was the first time he had ever swam in open water and that experience told him he would need some friendly faces to act as encouragement throughout the two mile test.
So he recruited 10 of his employees from both the London and Manchester G-A-Y clubs to help him complete the final challenge.
And after one hour and 42 minutes of swimming, Joseph finally hauled himself to dry land knowing he was now a member of the very elite London Classics club.
“I’m gobsmacked,” said Joseph afterwards as he was presented with the London Classics medal. “This is the one I have been dreading the most and it was really, really tough. They forgot to turn on the heating in the Serpentine I think because it was a bit cold!
“It’s incredible that I have completed the London Classics and have the medal to prove it. It’s so exciting.
“I think I’m a great example to people who don’t think they can do things like this. I’m not an athlete, when I was at school I was the last person to be picked when they chose teams but now I have done the Virgin Money London Marathon, cycled Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and swum two miles at Swim Serpentine.”
Joseph said it was great to be able to swim alongside his G-A-Y team and be part of an event that he really loves.
“The Serpentine is a legendary venue and it is on my doorstep so it is special to come here and swim alongside the rest of the team,” he said. “The other events I have done on my own and this felt like more of a team effort.”
Joseph is not only now a London Classics finisher but he has completed all six events organised by London Marathon Events this calendar year: the adidas Silverstone Half Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, Vitality Westminster Mile, Vitality London 10,000, Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and Swim Serpentine.
He has been raising money for the Elton John Aids Foundation throughout the year.
Everyone who completed the London Classics receives a specially-designed medal and their name is entered in the London Classics Hall of Fame. The medal is engraved with the Latin words: Et ego Londinium vici (translation: I too have conquered London).
There is no time limit on completing the London Classics and the challenge is open to anyone who has run the London Marathon since 1981 and cycled the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 since