Soldiers’ Marathon Effort for Charity
A team of airborne logistics specialists raised more than £7,500 for Help for Heroes by taking on the United States Marine Corps on their home turf.
A team of 12 troops from Colchester-based 13 Air Assault Support Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps (13 AA Sp Regt RLC) flew out to Washington DC to join more than 20,000 runners taking part in the USMC Marathon.
The soldiers shouldered 40lb rucksacks to tackle the 26.2 mile route, which started and finished at Arlington National Cemetery and took in landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol Building and the White House.
On their return team leader WO2 John Jones presented a cheque for £7,658.13 to Marianne West, Help for Heroes’ Essex county co-ordinator.
WO2 Jones said the team, which included seasoned endurance runners and private soldiers fresh out of training and running their first marathon, crossed the line together in a time of 5 hours 24 minutes after “an arduous but enjoyable” run.
He said: “We were quickly identified as British soldiers, so there was a lot of banter with Marines who were running and the crowds lining the route! It was an undulating course but the encouragement we got kept spirits high, even as our legs and shoulders were beginning to tire in the last few miles.
“It was a great challenge and we’re delighted to have raised a significant sum of money for Help for Heroes, a charity which does so much good work to support the military.
“As well as collecting sponsorship from friends and family, our fundraising including collections outside supermarkets in Colchester on our final training run, which raised £1,200 in one afternoon. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us.”
The money helped fund the Personnel Recovery Centre (PRC) at Colchester Garrison, which opened in May to give wounded, injured and sick soldiers additional care and support to help them successfully return to duties or transition into civilian life. Help for Heroes has funded the building’s capital costs.