Record-breaking Rishton strongman Mark Felix jets off today (Friday, September 10) to begin his sixth assault on the World’s Strongest Man contest.
Man mountain Felix, 44, qualified for the South Africa showdown by placing third in Europe at the Giants Live competition in London in June.
And he limbered up for the Sun City competition last weekend by defending the UK Strongman-North event at the Northwich Festival in Cheshire. Felix, who tips the scales at 22 stones, has enjoyed something of a globetrotting year, travelling to the US three times, Moscow twice, Ukraine and Poland to compete.
While in Russia he joined seven other athletes to take part in the Russian Guinness World Records largest plane pull in the world. And in May he broke a Guinness record of his own for the one handed deadlift using an Olympic bar, a staggering 225kg or 496lb.
But the finishing touches to his preparation have been made closer to home.
He has also been undergoing brutally tough altitude training down the road at the Perform Centre in Waterfoot, while local firm Barons of Great Harwood have loaned him a truck to perfect his truck pulls outside the recycling tip.
Wife Denny explained: "He's been doing intense training with the oxygen mask which replicates training at 10,000 feet. The first time he did it he had a panic attack as he was doing high reps with heavy weights forcardio speed training where you need to get the oxygen in quick. "He’s had five sessions over the last three weeks and is now feeling much more confident about the altitude. He's feeling great and as always he’s going out there to win it."
Grenada-born Felix’s best finish in World’s Strongest Man was fourth back in 2006. He will be one of five UK competitors in the 30-strong field, which gets underway on Wednesday (September 15).
The field is split into five groups of six with the top two from each group progressing to the final.