Former soldier fights on

Former Royal Anglian soldier Ben Poole (left) who completed the Ultimate Marathon, Ultimate Challenge for Help for Heroes

Former Royal Anglian soldier Ben Poole (left) who completed the Ultimate Marathon, Ultimate Challenge for Help for Heroes

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Former Royal Anglian front line infantry man Ben Poole is still a fighter – in spite of being invalided out of the army a year ago,

The 25-year-old who now works in close protection security was given a medical discharge after suffering an injury during a boxing match.

He’s just completed the 100 km 24-hour Ultimate Marathon, Ultimate Challenge for Help for Heroes. And he was determined to finish, even though medics advised him to quit half way through.

Ben said: “It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

“I ran in my combat boots but my feet blistered so bad I was covered in bandages and had to change into trainers.

“My pack was also far too heavy, it was about 50 kg.

“I think I got my mindset right, but my body wasn’t 100 percent fit – I had to wear a shin splint. And two months prior, I’d had a hand fusion operation and was still recovering from that. So it was like a double whammy.

“The medics advised me to stop when I was half way through, but I would never have pulled out, not even if I’d had to crawl to the finish.”

In the end Ben came in a creditable 510th out of a field of 2,500 and completed the event within the allotted 24 hours.

What kept him going was the number of people who’d sponsored him and how much money he hoped to raise for Help for Heroes.

“It’s a cause that’s so close to my heart,” he explained. “And I wanted to give something back.

“We as a a nation don’t give enough back – I want to give as much as I can.

“It’s not simply about buying a poppy every year, it’s much deeper than that.”

Ben has already taken part in the Royal Parks half marathon, raising about £800 for Combat Stress.

He’s also smashed his £500 target for the Ultimate Marathon – the pot currently stands at £1,400 and is still rising.

He’s got something else in the pipeline and is considering climbing Kilimanjaro next year for Help for Heroes. “But you can’t keep asking people for money so I’ll have to get the timing right,” he said.

Ben is keen to do something for local charities too. “If you want someone to do something whacky, I’m your man,” he smiled.

> If you’d like to contact Ben, email benpoole2@aol.com