Gosport frundraisers take on marathon effort raises thousands for forces charity

HARD WORK Jon Smith (in red) during the Great North Run and, inset, setting off from Gosport with Andy Smith
HARD WORK Jon Smith (in red) during the Great North Run and, inset, setting off from Gosport with Andy Smith
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FUNDRAISERS completed a half-marathon for charity just hours after a gruelling 333-mile bike ride.

The three Gosport workers raised thousands of pounds after completing the Great North Run and cycling to Newcastle and back.

Jon Smith, 45, who works at HMS Sultan, and his colleagues took up the challenge to raise money for Combat Stress.

It took them 13 hours to cycle to Newcastle in time for the start of the half-marathon last Sunday.

And after the race they had to ride another 333 miles to get back to their base at the Centurion Building, in Grange Road, Gosport.

Jon said: ‘It was a great event and a good adventure but it was quite tiring although we did have a enjoyable time.

‘We had a bit of a tumble at one stage through tiredness and lack of concentration.

‘I clipped the back wheel of another bike and we went down like a sack of spuds.’

He added: ‘Luckily we had a support vehicle with us just in case and someone else took over.

‘Doing the marathon was actually the easiest bit.

‘It felt a little bit like a training run so that was quite surprising.

‘But when I got back on the bike again after that to cycle home I felt awful.’

Jon was joined by his colleagues Andy Smith and Martyn Webb.

He was the only one of the trio to complete the bike ride and the marathon in one go.

Together they have raised around £2,300 for Combat Stress, a charity which looks after the mental welfare of ex-servicemen and women.

Jon added: ‘We had to be constantly eating things to keep us going.

‘I don’t ever want to look at another flapjack again.

‘But everything we went through was worth it to raise the amount of money we have.

‘We wanted to raise money for Combat Stress because they are a fairly small charity who sometimes get forgotten about.

‘Working at HMS Sultan as we do, armed forces charities are obviously linked with us so we were really pleased to be doing it.

‘We’ve had donations from people all over the country.’

Jonathon and his colleagues left Gosport last Friday and cycled to their first stop-off in Derby before reaching Newcastle the day before the marathon. They returned to a chorus of cheers from their colleagues at HMS Sultan on Monday night.

To donate to their charity fund, visit