Are you tough enough to take on gruelling South Downs yomp?

The team on a previous march and below, Marine Richard Hollington

The team on a previous march and below, Marine Richard Hollington

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ARE you ready for a tough challenge to help wounded military heroes?

Entry to the Since 1664 Yomp across the South Downs Way is now open, in aid of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF).

Marine Richard Hollington ENGPPP00120110512115240

Marine Richard Hollington ENGPPP00120110512115240

The Yomp was founded by Robin and Jenny Hollington, the parents of Royal Marine Richard Hollington, who became the 300th member of the armed forces killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

Marine Hollington was a former Purbrook Park pupil and grew up in Cosham. Following his death his family embarked on a huge fundraising drive for military charities.

The yomp has been a huge success and more people than ever are taking part this year – which marks 351 years since the Royal Marines was formed.

The route is 166.4km and it is going to be tough.

Mr Hollington said: ‘What you have to bear in mind the whole way is what you are doing this for.

‘These are people who have ended up losing limbs. They will be living with their injuries for 60 to 80 years.’

For the first time participants can raise money for charities other than the RMCTF – such as Help for Heroes, Combat Stress and Care After Combat.

Abigail Butchers, 21, is one of 12 Royal Marines wives and girlfriends taking part. She said: ‘I joined the RM Wags Support Network to meet other partners who are in the same situation as me.

‘As I live a few hours away from my boyfriend I find the distance tough sometimes so needed some extra understanding. Through this network I have met many amazing girls who will be there for you at a touch of a button. Some of the ladies I have met have partners that been injured in active duty and this is where I heard about the RMCTF. This amazing charity has helped not only the injured Royal Marines themselves but their families too.’

The event is 36 hours over the weekend of May 23 and 24.

The registration deadline is March 31. Go to since1664.com.

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