Tough challenge for former professional boxer

By Rob Virtue on November 12, 2012 10:51 AM |

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Reebok personal trainer Darren Bruce is taking on a 24-hour endurance race with death-defying obstacles - all to keep face with his client.

The 39-year-old ex-boxer is heading to New Jersey for the Tough Mudder challenge after coming in the top five per cent of 5,000 in a qualification event in England.

That was at Kidderminster where challenges on the 12 mile race included running through burning bales of hay and electric wire and tackling swamps and muddy ditches.

The stakes are even higher on the bigger stage of the World's Toughest Mudder in the States later next week.

"I didn't want to do the qualifying race in the first place," said Darren. "It's crazy. But a guy I train was doing it with his friends and asked me to come along.

"How can you say no to a client when you're pushing him all the time to try harder?"

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Darren's boxing career saw him fight for the IBO world welterweight title, which he lost on points at York Hall back in 2000.

After retiring, he's worked at the Reebok Sports Club in Canada Square since it opened 10 years ago.

But despite his peak physical shape, Darren is not backing himself to bring home the $15,000 winnings.

That goes to the person who completes most laps of the eight mile course in 24 hours at the November 17 event.

"The bit that worries me most is the water," he said. "It's going to be freezing. Last year it was about -7C, so you're in freezing clothes and then standing around waiting to go on the obstacles.

"Certainly my background will help, especially the boxing, but it can only go so far."