Tribute to CrossFit champion who died while training at the gym

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A champion athlete from collapsed and died while training for the sport he loved.

Crossfit competitor David Lumley’s death will be marked this weekend with an event in his honour - with his nephew taking his place.

Craig Lumley  has taken up Crossfit in memory of his uncle David Lumley

Craig Lumley has taken up Crossfit in memory of his uncle David Lumley

Mr Lumley, from Hebburn, was a keen crossfit competitor - winning many competitions and earning the respect of his fellow competitors.

The 52-year-old airport maintenance technician, and father of three,collapsed whilst training at CrossFit Glacier in Washington during preparation for a competition.

Staff, at the gym where the grandfather had been a member for a number of years, rushed to his aid but were unable to save him.

In a bid to honour his uncle’s dedication to the sport, his nephew Craig Lumley will be taking his place in a competition at the gym this weekend.

Getting up every morning at 5am for training is hard, but knowing I am doing this for my uncle, gives me the incentive I need to keep going

Craig Lumley

Over the course of the year, the 32-year-old will also be taking part in a series of crossfit challenges - including Saturday’s Glacier Games in place of his uncle - to raise money for Cancer Research which is a cause close to the hearts of the Lumley family.

It is Craig’s first competition but says he is determined to make his uncle proud.

Craig, from Sunderland Road, South Shields, said: “My uncle died a month after we lost my nana. It was such a huge shock to all of us.

“It was upsetting going into the gym where he died and very hard emotionally for me, but everyone has been really supportive.

“I have never done anything like this before and the goal for me is to raise as much as a I can for charity.”

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

Mr Lumley died during a training session on March 17

Craig added: “The day is about getting everyone together to remember him.

“I go to the gym and I like to keep myself healthy but never to this level. You think you’re fit until you try it.

“My uncle had done crossfit for a number of years and he always tried to get me involved.

“He was the over 50s crossfit champion and was ranked 400 in the world. He was probably the fittest guy in the gym and one of the fittest guys I know.

“Getting up every morning at 5am for training is hard, but knowing I am doing this for my uncle, gives me the incentive I need to keep going. “Me doing it for charity would have meant a lot to him.”

The crossfit challenge starts at the gym, in Tower Road, Washington, at 10am.

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