Sudbury: “Rocky” Russell becomes Suffolk phenomenon

FOR ex-Army boxer Darren Russell, being branded a “nutter” is something of a glowing accolade.

The 40-year-old is used to people stopping in their tracks and gazing in awe as he makes his way past them on the streets of Sudbury.

They stop and stare because he’s developed a new form of exercise – running with multiple car tyres hooked up behind him.

Mr Russell – a former Royal Anglian, who now runs a carpentry business – has become known in the town as “the tyre guy”.

The fitness freak, a member of Sudbury Boxing Club for 28 years, says he is very proud of his newly Sudbury Tyre-Running Club, though adds its membership currently stands at one.

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However, Mr Russell is gaining a significant following on social media websites and he now hopes to raise cash for good causes by running a set distance with tryes.

The father-of-three, who lives near the town hall in, Sudbury, said: “I’ve really thrown myself back into fitness.

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“I started boxing at the age of 12 and was infulenced very much by the Rocky films. As a result, my friends started calling me ‘Rocky Russell’.

“I’ve boxed three British champions and boxing is my way of releasing tension.

“I am an adrenalin junky and although I started running, I quickly realised that anybody can run. Then I remember seeing Linford Christie training with a tyre behind him, so I started with one tyre and I’ve since gone up to four tyres, but have now gone down to three.”

Mr Russell said running with tyres was a very different experience.

He added that the tyre rubber behaved differently over different surfaces, which made every run a unique experience. If an athlete tried it with three tyres they would be in for a shock – it feels like somebody is holding you back,” he said.

“I do look a bit silly out on the road and it is not something you expect to see. I often hear people say, ‘Look there’s that nutter who runs with tyres’.

“I’m definitely going to get a T-shirt with “Rocky Russell, Sudbury Tyre Running Club, founder and only member” printed on it. I do this for myself and I’ve not seen anybody else training by running five miles with tyres.

“I’m not taking myself too seriously and I would really like to do something for someone else, like a charity.”

He is poised to make contact with West Suffolk Hospital’s special care baby unit to see how he might raise charity cash for them.

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