Double Olympic champion Heather Stanning added another medal to her collection by becoming one of the first people to complete the iconic London Classics challenge.
The London Classics is a unique sporting challenge comprising the greatest and most iconic running, cycling and swimming mass participation events in the world. It requires people to run the Virgin Money London Marathon, cycle 100 miles in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and swim the new two-mile distance at Swim Serpentine, the open water swimming festival.
Stanning retired from elite rowing after last year’s Rio Olympics when she and Helen Glover defended the coxless pairs title they won at London 2012.
Though she had made the decision to put competitive rowing behind her, Stanning’s competitive instincts continue to burn strong and she became the first famous face to sign up to the London Classics challenge.
The 32-year-old, who has returned to her full-time role in the British Army, ran the Virgin Money London Marathon – alongside Glover – in April, finishing in three hours 32 minutes and 46 seconds.
Stanning then completed the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 in July before wrapping up her trio of London Classics with the two mile swim at Swim Serpentine on Saturday.
Afterwards she said: “I really enjoyed it. I was nervous about the swim but it was fantastic. Of all the London Classics, I found the marathon the hardest and Prudential RideLondon the easiest as I did a lot of cycling as part of my rowing training. The swim was probably the one I enjoyed the most. I swam a lot as a child and training for this has brought back a lot of those memories.
“It’s a fantastic medal. My Olympic golds are tucked away so, who knows, this could be the one that ends up on display. I thought doing all the London Classics in one year would be a great challenge in my first year since retiring from rowing.”
Everyone who completes 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 2013.