Training for a walk in a diving suit

A PAIR of trousers filled with sand are helping a man face the challenge of walking a mile weighed down by a 150lb diving suit.Roger Nunn, 59, of Harwich, came up with the idea after seeing Lloyd Scott from Ilford complete the London Marathon in similar gear in April.

A PAIR of trousers filled with sand are helping a man face the challenge of walking a mile weighed down by a 150lb diving suit.

Roger Nunn, 59, of Harwich, came up with the idea after seeing Lloyd Scott from Ilford complete the London Marathon in similar gear in April.

All money raised from the event, which will form part of the Harwich Festival of the Sea, will go to the Harwich branch of the RNLI.

He is being helped in his challenge by Mark Girdlestone, of Girdlestone Diving, Brightlingsea, who has leant him the suit. He brought it back from Russia where he was diving on the stricken nuclear submarine, the Kursk, in 2001. He is also acting as an unofficial trainer/manager.


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Mr Nunn said: "It's hellishly heavy, hot, sweaty and you cannot breathe – but I'm still doing it. You have to stop every so often to take in air."

"I wanted to do it because I do not know anybody who has never travelled to the continent or had friends and family who have done so or been sailing. "Any one of them could need the RNLI at some time and they rely totally on charitable donations."

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Mr Nunn's training regime includes building up his strength with leg weights and he completes a minimum of three sets of 20 squats a day, with an additional 56lb of sand squeezed into a old pair of trousers which he ties round him like a lifejacket.

He expects the one mile walk will take him up to three hours to complete. The starting time has not been confirmed but the route will start at the High Lighthouse, taking in the lifeboat station, along the quay, to the end of Church Street, back past the High Lighthouse, finishing on Harwich Green by the Low Lighthouse.

Mr Nunn is no stranger to publicity. Originally a Sudbury resident, he is living in Harwich while contractors strengthening Ballingdon Bridge have taken over his garden. He was one of the fiercest opponents of the scheme and after writing a poem about it was dubbed the "Bard of Ballingdon".

n The Harwich Festival of the Sea, organised jointly by the Rotary Club of Harwich and Dovercourt and the RNLI (Harwich Station) takes place between noon and 6pm on August 3.

The replica of Captain Cook's ship HM Bark Endeavour will be one of the highlights of the event, along with the lifeboat and helicopter rescue demonstration.

The annual raft race is also being staged that day and other events include musical entertainment, dancing and different stalls.

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