South Shields man battles on in memory of late uncle in gruelling fitness challenge

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A man who took on a gruelling fitness challenge in memory of his late uncle has thanked those who spurred him on over the finishing line.

Craig Lumley was determined to take the place of his uncle David in a competition being held at the crossfit gym where he trained.

His uncle, a well respected champion crossfit athlete from Hebburn, had been a member at the Crossfit Glacier in Washington for a number of years.

He had been training for a contest when he collapsed and died on March 17.

In tribute - and to mark the 52-year-old’s dedicated to the sport - Craig, from Sunderland Road, South Shields, channelled his grief into training, eventually reaching a level where he would be able to compete.

Last Saturday he embarked on a range of physical challenges making it through to the finals after being wildcarded.

It was one of the hardest days of my life.

Craig Lumley

For Craig it was his first crossfit competition. Despite his uncle previously trying to encourage him to take part, he had never embarked on the kind of intensive training he needed to compete.

He said: “The day of the memorial competition was one of the hardest days of my life!

“From, start to finish was an emotional roller coaster. Everyone at the gym were amazing, supporting me and my team mate Amie though some of the toughest workouts I’ve ever came across.

“I did in fact make it to the final thanks to a wildcarded. The final workout was brutal. It took everything out off me.

“The workout ended with a 100m run.

“When we approaching the gym doors the whole of the gym were outside clapping.

“What amazing place the Crossfit glaciers is. Not only a gym but a community.”

Crossfit is a mix of strength, ability aerobics and cardio exercises.

Over the course of the year, Craig will be taking part in a series of Crossfit challenged - raising money for Cancer Research which is close to the hearts of the Lumley family.

Mr Lumley, was the over 50s crossfit champion and was ranked 400 in the world.

He died during a workout in preparation for a competition, despite rescue attempts by staff to revive him.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Craig visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheLumleyLift or to follow his progress visit @the_lumley_lift on Instagram