Squaddie completes marathon of marathons

A HERO soldier is enjoying a well-earned rest after he marched a gruelling 10 marathons in five days for wounded servicemen.

Staff Sergeant Jim Offord knew his 266-mile trek with a 40lb weight on his pack would put his supreme fitness to the test.

But not even the super-fit squaddie with 12 years’ military experience in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan could imagine just how tough it would be run almost half the length of the country.

The pounding through the night left the 34-year-old with painful blisters and foot sores but the leader, of Waterbeach-based 39 Engineer Regiment, took it all in his stride in his determination to raise cash for the St Dunstans national charity.

“It went better than we could possibly have planned,” SSgt Offord told the Hunts Post. “At the end of the day we all completed it and you couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

Walkers even got a motivational talk from David Cameron on their challenging route from Nottingham to St Dunstan’s headquarters outside Brighton.

The Prime Minister said he was “fully behind” the group as they stopped off at 10 Downing Street to brief him on their record-breaking effort.

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TV hosts Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley also encouraged the participants on their way but the most moving support came from members of the public who got out of their cars to donate money and wish them good luck.

“We just broke it the walk down into workable chunks,” SSgt Offord said. “We got pick ups along the way which motivated us to keep going. One lorry driver even stopped at 3am to say well done for what we were doing.”

Even though most people would feel a bit stiff after 10 marathons, SSgt Offord was already walking around his home town of Huntingdon just days after the event.

Incredibly, he and his colleagues are planning their next bumper charity effort despite barely having time to catch their breath after the five day haul which finished on Friday (November 5).

“The charity still needs the support and donations, so we have to go and beat ourselves in the future,” SSgt Offord said.

Their effort is expected to raise more than �10,000 for soldiers blinded in action.

INFORMATION: To contribute, visit www.justgiving.com/10squaddies.