Yompers are Brighton breezy for good cause

  • Forty-five brave walkers trekked from Brigthon to Havant
  • The 50 mile trek was in aid of Royal Marines charity
  • Yomp finished at The Ship, Langstone
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YOMPERS braved the sweltering heat to hike 50 miles with 50lbs worth of kit on their backs for charity.

The former Royal Marines were joined by supporters as well as a serving Royal Marines on the yomp which started in Brighton and finished in Havant this weekend.

Charity Yompers relaxing at The Ship, Langstone

Charity Yompers relaxing at The Ship, Langstone

They arrived at The Ship, in Langstone, to a fish and chip supper laid on by the landlords.

It was a chance to put their feet up and tend to the huge blisters most of them had accumulated.

It is the forth year the event has been held and organiser Dave Lilburn, a former Royal Marine, said it was one of the toughest yet.

The 57-year-old, from Brighton, said: ‘We started it four years-ago to mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands and it’s been going ever since.

Knowing what the money goes towards made it all worthwhile

Mark Clarke

‘We carry 50lbs on our backs to make it hard but the average a Royal Marine would carry would be about 75lbs.

‘I personally found it really tough-going this year.

‘But maybe that’s just because I’m getting old. But it was worth it because we’ve raised £32,000 for Help Our Wounded Royal Marines.’

The only serving Royal Marine on the yomp was Mark Clarke, 27, who is originally from Portsmouth.

He is currently undergoing rehabilitation in Haslar Company, Plymouth, for post traumatic stress disorder.

Marine Clarke, said: ‘Help Our Wounded Royal Marines supports Haslar company by proving essential equipment and care.

‘I got involved because they contribute money towards our rehabilitation.

‘The money supports our centre and recently we bought some mountain bikes to help people get out and build self esteem.

‘I carried 80lbs on my back to test my mental strength. It physically exhausted me.

‘It was very hot – going from 23 to 32 degrees throughout the day.

‘Knowing what the money goes towards made it all worthwhile.’

Mne Clarke was met by his family at the finish line, including daughter Maisie who said: ‘I’m very proud of him.

‘Last year he went to my school to be star of the week.’