Dad's record bid at Wigan 10k for his son

While many runners will be wearing shorts and trainers, dad Nigel Brookwell is choosing more unusual attire for the Wigan 10k.

Monday, 31st July 2017, 11:03 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:41 pm
Nigel Brookwell in his running gear for the Wigan 10k

The 44-year-old has decided to wear a 1930s diving suit - weighing a massive four stone.

It includes leaded boots weighing around 30lbs each and the helmet weights 70lbs.

Nigel, who lives in Swinley, hopes to set a world record for the longest land walk in the suit.

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Harry Brookwell, 14, and dad Nigel Brookwell

But the main reason for taking on the challenge is to raise money for charity in honour of his son.

Harry, 14, was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME, after becoming ill in January 2016.

The illness had a huge impact on him and meant he has not yet been well enough to return to lessons at St John Fisher Catholic High School.

Nigel, who works as a forensic auditor, said: “Often people who suffer from ME describe it as feeling like their legs are made of lead. It’s a difficult thing for people to understand.

Harry Brookwell, 14, and dad Nigel Brookwell

“I wanted to do something. There are small charities that have helped us and I wanted to do my bit.

“I thought it would be a good idea not just to run the 10k, but do it in a different way. A long time ago I saw a guy do the London marathon in it, but I didn’t know he didn’t have the weighted boots.”

Nigel has managed to borrow the suit from a member of the Historical Diving Society.

He has practised walking in the suit and completed a mile in about an hour.

He will start the Wigan 10k with the other participants on Sunday, September 3, but his pace means he will not have enough time to complete the 10km course.

Instead, he will walk as far as he can, which he hopes will be up to two miles.

He will be accompanied by people giving him fluids and carrying buckets to collect donations.

Nigel said: “I’m just going to go for as long as I can. As long as I’m there and there are people with buckets, it’s a window of opportunity for people to put money in the buckets.

“I’m raising money for FOR ME. It’s a small charity and it helps people like me and my son.”

Nigel has been training in the gym, but says nothing can replicate how he will feel wearing the suit on race day.

“It’s incredibly hot and incredibly hard,” he said.

It is not the first time Nigel has taken on a physical challenge to raise money for charity.

In 2011 he completed a 30-mile march up Parbold Hill and he has twice done a one-mile swim in the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

To sponsor Nigel, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nigel-brookwell.

Sign up for the Wigan 10k at www.wigan10k.co.uk.