Gosport Falklands veteran was left exhausted by Great South Run epic

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A FALKLANDS veteran was left exhausted after finishing the Great South Run – wearing a huge bear outfit and carrying a 23.5kg back pack.

Tony Ryan, of Gosport, tackled the 10-mile race dressed head-to-toe as the Help For Heroes’ mascot, Hero Bear – all while carrying the hefty 52lb rucksack.

The 52-year-old former Royal Marine was doing the event in memory of fallen comrades.

Mr Ryan said he has tackled the Great South Run almost a dozen times. But speaking at the finishing line, he added: ‘This is probably one of the hardest runs I have ever done.

‘You can hardly see anything and it’s been very painful.’

‘I’m glad it’s over and I can’t thank people enough for all the support they have given me.’

Mr Ryan served 10 years with the Royal Marines, and fought during the Falklands War and in Northern Ireland.

His run was in aid of forces causes Help For Heroes and the Royal Marines Charity.