700+km traversed, 78 aching legs, 39 of the finest Rome has ever seen, and one unbelievable achievement.
What. A. Week!
We’ll forever remember the tireless performance you put in, although there may be some
aches and pains you’d sooner forget.
So, here’s an ode to our IYF Gladiators.
Day one, they bid adieu to Duomo di Milano,
Thirty-nine Gladiators led by one Matteo.
One hundred and twenty K until terra ferma,
and eighty-five thousand euros by Salsomaggiore Terme.
Day two, Massa here they come peddling strong,
One hundred and sixty K in the sun; what could go wrong?
They glide up the Apennines and back down again.
Eighty-seven thousand raised for our teens and children.
Day three and our Gladiators stride past the sea,
And stop for a snap with a leaning icon of Italy.
Then onwards they go with unfailing endurance,
This unstoppable team make it to Florence.
Day four is a tough one to be on the saddle,
Forget the bike, it might be time for a paddle.
Buoyed by the help they’ll offer to many,
they make it, a little wet, beyond Tuscany.
On day five they awake in the beautiful Siena,
Onwards they march, headed for Bolsena.
How lucky that our Gladiators are thick-skinned,
Because it’s not the rain today, it’s that terrible wind!
Rome takes a gasp when they finally see them,
our glorious heroes arrive at the Colleseum.
The difference they’ve made to the children of Ireland,
By raising the spirits, and one hundred grand.
We can never repay you, and you’d never ask.
But we’re beyond grateful you undertook this mammoth task.
You might not be Gladiators but it is you who,
Battled for youths, so they wouldn’t have to.