BRITAIN’S strongest disabled man, Pete Linnett, is literally putting his weight behind his training partner’s bid to complete this year’s London Marathon.
For every five minutes Vince Sutton takes to complete his first marathon on April 21, Pete has pledged to bench press 60kg ten times.
If Vince completes the 26.2 miles in four hours Pete would need to lift the barbell 480 times – a total weight moved of 28,800kg. That’s more than two London double-decker buses!
The friends and training partners, who work out at the Iron Generation Gym in Barwell, Leicestershire, are both raising money for Spinal Research – the UK’s leading charity funding world-class research into restoring movement and function following a spinal cord injury.
Pete was born with spina bifida and uses crutches to walk but that hasn’t stopped him from winning the World Strongest Disabled Man title four times and multiple world bench pressing championships.
The 60-year-old from Glen Parva, Leicester said:
“As a kid, I was really inactive and overweight but I started lifting weights as a teenager to improve my upper body strength and it changed my life.
“This will be a real test of stamina because of the amount of lifting I’ll have to do over a long period of time. The average gym goer would do five sets of bench presses in one session but I’ll be doing 12 for every hour that Vince runs – possibly making it over fifty sets.
“But it really is for such a good cause. I am one of the lucky few who can still walk, which is why I support those who cannot. Spinal Research is very close to my heart because I know there are a lot of people so much worse off than me.”
Pete is no stranger to putting his body on the line to raise money for Spinal Research. In 2020 he raised over £5,000 for the charity after completing a 100-mile handcycle from Leicester to Skegness and, just two weeks later, a six-hour bench press challenge with Vince.
IT Manager Vince is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teacher and runs his own club in Hinckley. He has trained with Pete for several years but only started running during Lockdown.
The 44-year-old said:
“When the gym and club were closed during Covid I did a bit of running just to keep fit but I really enjoyed it and training so far is going well.
“I’m looking forward to doing my first marathon with Pete for such a great cause and he’s certainly going to be on my mind all the way round.”
Both Pete and Vince are being supported by their employers Phil Holden Fastners and Palletways.
If you would like to donate to their London Marathon Challenge go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vinceandpete.
Every four hours someone in the UK is paralysed after a spinal cord injury with around 60,000 people living daily with the devastating consequences. Spinal Research is funding research around the world to support and accelerate the development and delivery of effective treatments for paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury.
Director of Fundraising Louisa McGinn said:
“Pete is an inspiration and we wish him and Vince the best of luck in their London Marathon challenge.
“We’re in touching distance of function-restoring treatments for people paralysed after a spinal cord injury and we really appreciate every single donation that brings our vision of curing paralysis a step closer.”