Fancy dress fun run raises cash for forces

WACKY The start of the run
WACKY The start of the run
James Rhodes from Waterlooville with the medal he and his surviving shipmates have have been awarded for their work on the supply convoys which helped The Netherlands during the second world war     
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (181100-1)

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PENGUINS, sharks and a giraffe were some of the crazy characters at the starting line of a naval charity race.

Sailors and civilians from Gosport’s HMS Sultan took part in a 5km fun run to raise money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

More than 260 runners competed in the race in a variety of comedy outfits, from animals to celebrity look-a-likes.

Leading Physical Trainer Phil Mant organised the fun run.

He said: ‘I wanted to make this a memorable event everyone would get behind.

‘The charity does a lot for the service community and their families, and it’s important for us to be able to give something back.

‘We have had a lot of support in organising the event from local businesses which will see everyone involved with the fundraiser receiving an award.’

Air Engineering Technician Thomas Merrien won the male category with a time of 16 minutes and 11 seconds.

The female category was won by Chief Petty Officer (Air Engineering Mechanic) Mariesa Dryhurst, with a time of 22min 40sec.

Captain Trevor Gulley, HMS Sultan’s commanding officer, said: ‘It’s very satisfying to see so many of the personnel within the establishment getting behind the fundraiser with such enthusiasm.

‘Keeping fit is an important part of naval life, so it’s great to see those involved making the most of this opportunity.’

The sailors were supported by a number of local businesses in their fun run, including Asda in Gosport which donated a banana for each contestant.