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Gloucester ice swimmer completes Hadrian's Wall walk

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media captionMan in Speedos and Roman helmet tackles Hadrian's Wall

An ice swimmer has completed his charity challenge to walk the length of Hadrian's Wall dressed only in a small pair of trunks and a Roman helmet.

John Myatt finished a 91-mile walk in four days to raise money for forces charity Rugby For Heroes.

He said an ex-serviceman from Newcastle he met along the way proved to be his “knight in shining armour” and had supported him at the end of the walk.

Mr Myatt, from Gloucester, said: "It was tough but worth it."

The father of three decided to take on the challenge across the monument after a family holiday was cancelled due to Covid-19.

He originally planned to wear more conventional clothing but a friend told him to make it more challenging in the cold weather.

image captionJohn Myatt said he hoped his choice of attire would attract more people to donate

After finishing the walk on Monday, he also surpassed his fundraising target of £1,000 and raised £2,174.

He said: “It was tough but worth it. My backpack was full with 44lb and a Roman helmet.

“I reached a glamping pod that a woman donated to me on my first night and I was crying and screaming in pain because my glutes had gone.

“A guy I met called Mike, who was ex-Army, ended up walking with me and supported me the whole way until the end.

“At one point I went to walk across a field and he turned up in a van with a speaker playing old Army songs for me."

image copyrightJohn Myatt
image captionJohn enjoyed a well deserved pint with his new friend Mike (left)

Mr Myatt is now training to swim to France doing the double-arm backstroke in 2022.

He has taken on similar challenges in the International Ice Swimming Championships in Russia in 2019, competing for Great Britain, and acclimatised ahead of the event by swimming in a lake at the Cotswold Water Park and plunging into the ice bath he keeps in his back garden.

Related Topics

  • Gloucester
  • Wallsend

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