THIS weekend’s Great South Run was particularly poignant for the friends and family of Sapper Will Blanchard.
A group of 16 took part in the 10-mile race exactly a year after the 39-year-old from Gosport was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Will, a reservist, had been in the country for six weeks when he was shot while trying to defuse a roadside bomb.
Since the start of the year, the group, dubbed WilburForce in tribute to their loved-one, have been fundraising in his name for Help for Heroes – Will’s favourite charity.
Tim Wright had worked with Will since 2002 at DSTL, and when his son was born earlier this year named him James William Wright for his friend.
Tim, from Whiteley, said: ‘It was hard work but crossing the line together was amazing.’
He added: ‘Will was super-fit and he loved this sort of stuff, so we wanted to do something momentous. We gave ourselves a mission statement: push yourself to the limit.’