Valiant Richard takes on mammoth running challenge for troops

Richard Burn prepares for his 72 hour running marathon to raise money for Help for Heroes.
Richard Burn prepares for his 72 hour running marathon to raise money for Help for Heroes.
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Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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RUNNING round the clock for three days is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

But ex-soldier Richard Burn is gutsy enough to take on the challenge.

The 23-year-old will need to draw upon all the strength and determination he learned in the army as he runs across Hampshire and West Sussex.

Richard, of Coronation Road, Waterlooville, was in the Second Battalion Royal Anglian for five years, serving in Germany, Cyprus and Iraq.

He now says he wants to give something back to his comrades.

He said: ‘The main reason I want to do this is I don’t think the government does enough for the troops themselves and gives enough support to Help For Heroes.

‘Being an ex-soldier I feel I need to do my bit.

‘I have had friends in the military who have come back with lost limbs.

‘I have had friends who sadly passed away.

‘I wanted to do my bit to show my appreciation.

‘I have left the military and have a successful life.

‘Now I can take some time to give something back.’

Richard plans to run for 30 miles every day, taking 20-minute breaks every six hours.

Every day he expects to need a couple of hours to sleep, take on some food, patch up his blistered feet and change his socks.

The run will start at 7.30am on September 14 in Waterlooville town centre.

Richard will run to Petersfield via East Meon, then on to Chichester.

The final stretch will see him running to Portsmouth, finishing at Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Southsea Common on September 17.

Fortunately, a trio will be urging him on.

His mum Suzanne Nyland, 54, his brother Daniel Brigg, 31, and flatmate Sam Lloyd, 30, will be travelling alongside him in a car.

Richard, who now works at aviation firm Kapco in Petersfield, said: ‘I’ve been doing training over the last couple of months.

‘I’ve been doing 10-mile and 20-mile runs.

‘And I’ve been running at Butser Hill to get my legs used to running up and down hills.

‘I know it’s going to be hard. It’s the furthest I have run without anything on my back.’

Richard hopes to raise around £1,000 for Help For Heroes, a charity which helps injured servicemen and women.

He said: ‘For me a donation goes a long way.

‘It means a lot if someone makes a donation, however small.

‘It makes me realise this is not for nothing and there are people out there who really care.’