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A construction worker in Norfolk has expressed gratitude for the reception to his world record success.

B&DWA – IMG-20240510-WA0011 – Adam Lopez after beating the World Record

Adam Lopez (38), a Forklift Driver for Barratt and David Wilson Homes Anglia, recently became the fastest man on the planet to run one mile in a swimming pool and has been swarmed with plaudits ever since.

The world record achievement, clocked at 35 minutes and 24 seconds to run the 64 lengths, was completed at Nuffield Health Norwich Fitness and Wellbeing Gym in Norwich. It knocked four minutes off the time of the previous record, which was set in Baghdad, Iraq.

Adam said: “Everyone has been superb, and it’s warmed every bit of my heart. I didn’t expect it to blow up and snowball like it has done, but the response has been incredible.”

Originally from Kettering in Northamptonshire, and now living in Taverham, Adam’s inspiration for the challenge came from a diagnosis of diabetes, after doctors told him that his blood sugar levels were dangerously high during a work medical.

In response to being told his condition was life-threatening, he vowed to make a change and get out of the rut he found himself in.

Adam continued: “My inspiration was that the challenge was always going to help with my diabetes diagnosis, which I’m thankful to say is now in remission. I’m also really close to my mum, and she was my motivation throughout the training.

“Being competitive inspired me to beat the record itself, but now I’ve got the record, my new motivation is being fit and healthy. I’ve got unfinished business and I’m going to carry on.”

Having started his transformation in the gym, Adam momentarily lost the drive and switched his attention to the pool. Admitting that swimming wasn’t doing much for him, he started walking up and down the length of the pool.

Unbeknown to Adam, a fellow swimmer was timing him and shared how impressed he was at Adam’s speed wading through the water.

Adam said: “It played on my mind when I got home, so I happened to look it up and there was a world record for the fastest time to run a mile in a swimming pool, which was around 37.2 seconds per length.
“When I realised I was going quicker, that’s when the fire really started.”

Adam’s application for a world record attempt was accepted and, adhering to all the necessary guidelines, he began a three-month training programme and completed approximately 200 miles in preparation for the challenge.

He continued: “Once you get the bit between your teeth and you’re feeling good, everything is different, and you feel happier.

“I made the most of the time which didn’t add value to my life, time that I’d normally spend at home not doing anything and focused on my training. I must have beat the record eight times unofficially with a stopwatch, and I was getting between 33 and 36 minutes.

“There’s always an element of self-doubt, but it always keeps you on your toes. I certainly felt the pressure with 100 people there watching, and the cameras on me.”

Struggling to grip the pool for the first 20 lengths, Adam felt the struggle in the first half of his attempt. Still on top of the challenge, he powered through and made it to the home stretch.

Adam said: “With eight lengths left and nine minutes to do it, I knew I had a surplus of seconds built up and I could have cried. It was a surreal moment when I crossed the finish line.”

Whilst attempting the world record benefited Adam personally, he was also taking on the challenge for Grace Howes, a five-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a severe muscular disorder when she was just nine months old.

Grace’s family are determined to give her a better quality of life with a hydrotherapy pool and the equipment she needs at home. The ongoing fundraiser has raised more than £35,000, including a £2,000 donation from Barratt and David Wilson Homes, and the funds will aid Grace greatly.

Adam added: “I’ve had a lot of reasons to motivate me for this, and I’m very grateful to everyone from the bottom of my heart.”

To learn more about the fundraiser for Grace or to make a donation, visit the JustGiving page.