Slowly – but surely

PUBLISHED: 11:04 26 April 2007 | UPDATED: 12:25 04 May 2010

ALMOST THERE: Peter Heald is expecting to complete possibly the slowest marathon on record, on Monday. Photo: HELEN DRAKE

ALMOST THERE: Peter Heald is expecting to complete possibly the slowest marathon on record, on Monday. Photo: HELEN DRAKE

EIGHT days after Kenyan superstar Martin Lel powered to his second London Marathon victory in 2hrs 7mins 41sec, a Sutton man is set to finish what could be the slowest marathon on record. Peter Heald, 69, is expecting to complete a 26 mile, 385 yard swim

EIGHT days after Kenyan superstar Martin Lel powered to his second London Marathon victory in 2hrs 7mins 41sec, a Sutton man is set to finish what could be the slowest marathon on record.

Peter Heald, 69, is expecting to complete a 26 mile, 385 yard swim in 42hrs 58mins, on Monday.

He is registered disabled with a permanently stiffened right leg, from a cycling accident six years ago, and, since July last year, has been making regular trips to the Empress Swimming Pool, in Chatteris.

The swim is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, in aid of his brother Eric, who spent his last weeks in the care of Macmillan nursing, before dying of cancer 10 years ago.

Mr Heald said: "Eric received splendid care and his final few weeks were spent very pleasantly. He had been a great swimmer, so the gesture seemed appropriate."

Due to his condition, Mr Heald has had to swim entirely on his back.

He is expecting to raise more than £2,000.

He said: "The main point of the swim is to raise money for a wonderful cause, but I've really enjoyed it and my health and fitness has improved dramatically.

"I used to swim just 70 yards, or four lengths, before stopping, now I swim a kilometre, 60 lengths, each time."

On completion Mr Heald will have made 72 visits to the pool and swam 2,577 lengths.

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