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Former Suffolk soldiers take on gruelling challenge to mark First World War centenary

PUBLISHED: 15:12 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:12 08 March 2018

Luke Brown and Kyle Tyrer are preparing for their gruelling challenge. Picture: KYLE TYRER

Luke Brown and Kyle Tyrer are preparing for their gruelling challenge. Picture: KYLE TYRER

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Two former soldiers from Suffolk are set to embark on a gruelling 286 mile walk to the Pegasus Bridge in Normandy – to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Former soldier Kyle Tyrer is walking from Ipswich to the Pegasus Bridge in France. Picture: GREGG BROWNFormer soldier Kyle Tyrer is walking from Ipswich to the Pegasus Bridge in France. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Kyle Tyrer and Luke Brown, from Ipswich, are taking on the challenge this summer, leaving Mr Tyrer’s employer Ardent Plant Hire in Felixstowe Road on May 30 with the aim of reaching the famous bridge on June 6 – D-Day.

The brave pair, who both served in the paras – Mr Tyrer with the 9 Para Squadron Royal Engineers based in Woodbridge and Mr Brown with 2 Parachute Battalion based in Colchester – will take on the walk with 55lbs of weight on their back, the standard weight paras lug when training with a full pack.

Mr Tyrer, who last year took on a challenge of running the breadth of the UK – from Warrington to Ipswich in just five days – said the added weight would make this a particularly difficult challenge.

“This year’s challenge will be different – for one I have got someone else stupid enough to join me.

Kyle Tyrer was flanked by a procession of diggers as he made his way to the finishing line following his cross country run last year. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTKyle Tyrer was flanked by a procession of diggers as he made his way to the finishing line following his cross country run last year. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

“I just wanted to do something a little bit harder than the last one.

“This one I am planning on leaving on May 30 and arrive on D-Day on Pegasus Bridge.

“My dad is going to drive a safety vehicle for us again.”

Mr Tyrer said he was increasing the miles he trains to prepare for the challenge.

Kyle Tyrer celebrates crossing the finishing line with his colleagues at Ardent Plant Hire after his run across the UK . PIcture: ADAM HOWLETTKyle Tyrer celebrates crossing the finishing line with his colleagues at Ardent Plant Hire after his run across the UK . PIcture: ADAM HOWLETT

“We are doing three runs in a two week period at Oulton Water, an 8.6 mile route.

“That is with the full weight on our back.

“This weekend we are planning to move it to two laps.

“It was 210 miles that I ran last time and I did that in five days – that’s 42 miles a day.

“This time we won’t break 35 miles a day because of the added weight we are carrying.”

But Mr Tyrer said it wasn’t the strain on his legs or shoulders that would be the most difficult part of the walk.

“The thing I am struggling with is blisters,” he said.

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