HE’S OFF! Greg James sets off on the first of his five triathlons and shows the lengths he’s prepared to go to for Sport Relief 

BBC Radio 1 DJ and presenter Greg James today kicked off the first of his five triathlons in Belfast as he embarked on his Sport Relief Challenge, BBC Radio 1’s Gregathlon for Sport Relief, a mammoth challenge which will see him attempt to run, swim and cycle a triathlon a day for five consecutive days, across five UK cities.

This morning, Greg braved the freezing open waters of Belfast Harbour Marina. He then cycled around the city, finishing off with a run past Belfast’s iconic sites which included the old historic shipyard where the Titanic was built and launched, Stormont Castle and Belfast City Hall. He completed over 50 miles.  With rain forecast throughout the afternoon, Greg faced a wet, windy and miserable start to a gruelling five days, but a good-luck message from Coldplay’s Chris Martin saw him set off in higher spirits in the morning.

He was joined by The Saturdays’ Mollie King towards the end of the day to cheer him on as he crossed the finish line to make it to his Radio 1 show at 4pm.

Greg’s challenge will see him run, swim and cycle in indoor and outdoor conditions, facing rising fatigue and extensive muscle damage as he repeats his gruelling schedule day after day. Every stroke, pedal and foot-step will be agony, and BBC Radio 1 listeners can follow his painful progress throughout the day as he calls in to every daytime show.

As Greg set off this morning he said “I feel like jelly, I feel really sick but I’m so excited. To quote The Weeknd, I can’t feel my face, it’s so cold. This challenge is going to be difficult but I’ve trained really hard for this and I can’t wait to get going. Seeing everyone’s posts on social media has been really encouraging, so thank you. I’m going to do the best I can, make it entertaining along the way and hopefully raise lots of cash for Sport Relief”.

Keeping the momentum going each day will undoubtedly take its toll but, having seen first-hand how the money is used to make a difference, Greg is determined to raise as much cash as possible for Sport Relief and to inspire the nation to do their bit and get involved. In January Greg travelled to Jordan to meet displaced families living in desperate conditions. He visited a nursery within the Azraq refugee camp and saw how Comic Relief funding is helping to give young children back their childhoods. The money raised through Sport Relief could help more children like these get a vital education, and support their families to maintain a crucial sense of community.

The incredible feat kicked off in Belfast today (Monday 8th February), and Radio 1 listeners will be able to track Greg as he broadcasts his Radio 1 show (from 4pm) from a new Sport Relief Flagship Games City every day, criss-crossing his way around the nation via Cardiff, Glasgow and Sheffield before storming across the finish line in Norwich on Friday 12th February. He will also be encouraging the public to do their bit at home and sign up to the BelfastSport Relief Games, taking place on Sunday 20th March. Sign up at www.sportrelief.com/belfast.

  • Greg needs the public’s support to keep him going as he takes on his Gregathlon. Donate £3 by texting GREG to 70703* or sponsor him at sportrelief.com/SponsorGreg
  • Get going like Greg! Walk, run, swim or cycle yourself proud at the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March. There are thousands of events across the UK with flagship Games in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Sheffield, Norwich and London. Find your nearest event at sportrelief.comand sign up now!

Money raised from the Gregathlon will be spent helping people living unimaginably tough lives, with half of the money raised used to make a difference right here in the UK. The other half is used to transform lives across the world’s poorest communities.