Axe Valley trio take on tough Army challenge

Runners will attempt five marathons - 132 miles - in five days to raise money for charities

THREE Axe Valley runners are preparing to take on one of the Army’s toughest challenges – for a lung-busting second time.

Stephen Reynolds, Geoff Woodward and 62-year-old Graham “Gummer” Newton are taking part in The Forces March – aiming to complete an exhautsiung five full marathons in five days.

The trio did it last year and raise an impressive �6,000, completing the 132.5 mile run in a cumulative of 23 hours and 42 minutes.

This time they hope to do even better, raising money for a variety of military charities, including Help for Heroes.

The Forces March starts at Ilfracombe on May 25 and finishes at Bulford Garrison in Wiltshire.

It is based on the original march in 1942 when troops, fully kitted, “yomped” from coastal defences back to base on Salisbury Plain. Each of the five stages is at least 26.2 miles with the longest 29.6 miles. The competitors sleep in tents each night.

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Geoff said their inspiration to take on the challenge for a second time comes from competing alongside amputees and veterans of conflicts past and present – some of whom walked and hobbled in their determination to complete the marathons.

Now they want people to sponsor them by calling in to Seaton Sports shop, where John Rowe, will provide the forms, or by calling Graham on (01297) 22817, Stephen on (01308) 488011 or Geoff on (01297) 553594. Alternatively people can donate on line at , putting in the runners’ names to access their page.

To boost fund raising Umborne Village Hall is hosting a horse race night on Saturday, May 14, at 7.30pm, open to people over 16. There will be a bar and refreshments and tickets are available by calling (01404) 831521. All profits will go to Help for Heroes.