The Diamond Jubilee Marathon
I had hoped this year's London Marathon would be my last wearing my deep-sea diving suit; that is until the rules were changed stipulating that all competitors have to finish on race day. My disappointment was immense, knowing there was no way I could complete the 26.2 miles in the given time frame wearing the 140 lb suit. Last time it took me 5 days, 8 hours, 29mins and 46 seconds!
As the man who refuses to be beaten, I am now planning my own special marathon and I will be the first person to complete a marathon around the London 2012 Olympic Marathon route in my famous costume on behalf of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.
The London 2012 Olympic Marathon route starts and finishes in The Mall and encompasses one small and three larger laps around central London taking in famous landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, St Pauls Cathedral and the Tower of London.
It's wonderful that the whole route is in central London which will mean there will be a tremendous atmosphere and support as the Jubilee weekend approaches. To finish in The Mall on the anniversary of her coronation will be extraordinary.
I feel extremely honoured that my marathon proposal was accepted by the Trust. This will be a unique event, raising money and awareness for a fabulous cause in tribute to such an inspirational and much loved Queen.
Everybody that donates to the Trust will have the opportunity to have their name recorded in The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Roll of Thanks, which will stored in the Palace archives - That is a brilliant initiative and a fantastic incentive to give generously!
Lloyd was awarded the MBE in 2005 and has raised over £5 million for a number of worthy causes. He has also been selected to be an Olympic torchbearer in recognition of his charity work over the years. The project is being managed through the 'Journey's Through Sport charity; www.journeysthroughsport.com
The event will start and finish in The Mall from 28th May to Saturday 2nd June (the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation).
Messages Of Support
Sir John Major, Chairman of the Trustee Board added:
'Lloyd is fast becoming a national institution - and deservedly so. I am enormously grateful to him for supporting The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in this way, and wish him every possible success in his tremendous endeavour.'
I first met Lloydie at a fundraising function in the ballroom at the Dorchester. He did a speech and got a standing ovation from the whole room. Everyone one I know thinks what he does is fantastic - he works his socks off for the benefit of others. Without doubt, he is the 'Daddy' of charity fundraising.
I've known Lloyd for over 30 years now, since he was a young goalkeeper at Leyton Orient. Even then he had a determination and will to succeed; something that helped him in his battle against leukaemia and has carried over into his fundraising - and they say goalkeepers are mad! He deserves all the support he gets and I hope his last London Marathon is a fantastic success.
Darling Lloyd, you have the biggest heart and your efforts every year to raise money for so many deserving charities will be remembered fondly. The outfits, the time, care and imagination involved are just wonderful. I loved being your damsel in distress a few years back too. Much love and luck, Suranne xxx
Lloyd - thanks for what you do! All the best Harrison Ford
Sir Steve Redgrave:
I would like to wish Lloyd all the best of luck with his new challenge 'The Diamond Jubilee Marathon' commencing on 27th May in behalf of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. I have always admired Lloyds charitable endeavours and fundraising initiatives and for this reason I hope the marathon is a huge success.
Andy Flower - England Cricket Team Director
Having just completed my first London Marathon, I am in awe of others who put themselves through the agony and the ecstasy of marathon running for charity. Lloyd meanwhile, is on another level! Extreme marathons and 'running' in a Deep Sea Diving Suit makes the mind boggle. Performance in top sport is all about resilience and determination - the man has it in spades... Good luck with another one of your many firsts in completing'The Diamond Jubilee Marathon', and continuing to raise much-needed funds.'