MARKET Rasen’s own iron man is gearing up for a very different event in the run up to London 2012.
Stuart Parker is one of just 8,000 people chosen to carry the Olympic torch as it makes its way around the British Isles.
The 53-year-old butchery manager at the town’s Co-op store, will be carrying the flame during the Lincoln leg of its journey later this month.
“I am very proud and feel extremely priviledged to be part of this event,” said Stuart, who was nominated for the honour by his colleagues, through the Coca-Cola nomination campaign, in recognition of his fundraising efforts.
“I had no idea I had been nominated to be a torchbearer until I received a presentation package from Coca-Cola,” he added.
Always a keen sportsman, at the age of 50 Stuart took on a new challenge - iron man endurance races.
Last year he entered his first double iron man event to raise money for Help for Heroes and, along with his colleagues and the support of customers, raised more than £11,000.
Although Stuart knows he will be carrying the torch on Wednesday, June 27, at some point between 5pm and 7.30pm, he won’t find out the exact place until about 10 days before the event.
Meanwhile, Stuart is keeping up his relentless round of iron man competitions.
He has just returned from a double iron man event at Avon Tyrell in the New Forest, where he faced torrential rain and 70 mph winds during the event.
Nonetheless, he recorded a time of 33 hours and 23 minutes, placing him 13 out of 37 entrants – one of his best performances to date.
And as always, Stuart had his support team on hand – wife Judy and daughters Amy and Becky – who he says “made things 100 per cent easier.”