Royal Navy medic from Portsmouth warship prepares for Great North Run

HMS Duncan on operation Sea Garden
HMS Duncan on operation Sea Garden
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A MEDIC from a Portsmouth-based warship is training for the Great North Run – despite being thousands of miles away.

Petty Officer Medical Assistant Maree O’Rourke is currently serving on HMS Duncan in the Gulf, and will not be back in the UK in time for the marathon on Sunday, September 8.

Instead, she will be running the 13-mile marathon from a treadmill on board the Type 45 destroyer, while thousands of others will be lacing up their trainers on the streets of Newcastle.

PO O’Rourke had been spending the free time she had during the six-month deployment training to tackle the Great North Run to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

She said: ‘With women on board, the chances are that one of my friends just from this ship may have to battle breast cancer in the future if nothing is done about it.

‘It’s fantastic to have the support I do from every member of the ship’s company. Hopefully that will make running in the roasting heat while looking at a bare wall more bearable.’

Originally from Rosyth, Scotland, but now living in Hampshire, the Gosport Road Runners member will be running in a vest supplied by the charity with her official race number.

Both were sent out to the ship when PO O’Rourke found out she would not be home for the event.

So far, she has raised £625 – more than double her target.