Paratrooper runs Helmand marathon in body armour

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A paratrooper has raised more than £1,200 for charity after running a marathon around his base in Helmand province in his body armour while carrying a general purpose machine gun (GPMG)!

Lance Corporal Robert Fisher, aged 39, from Chorley, who is serving with 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment in Shahzad, ran around the base twenty-six times. He said:

I’ve always wanted to run a marathon carrying a GPMG while wearing body armour. I thought it would be something different.

It took Lance Corporal Fisher just over seven hours to complete the gruelling run:

It was one of the hardest things I’ve done,” he admitted. “The marathons I’ve done in the past carrying weight have been tough, but this was a lot harder. I was hoping to do it in under six hours, but I started cramping up around the nineteen-mile [31km] point.

For the last six miles [10km], it was mind over matter. For me, it’s worth the pain, it’s worth the fatigue. I’ve raised over £1,200 for two charities.

The money will be split between the Afghanistan Trust and the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children):

I try to do a marathon every year for charity,” he said. “I try to put my fitness to good use.

When he’s not running marathons, Lance Corporal Fisher serves as a Physical Training Instructor (PTI), making sure his fellow soldiers stay fit.

He’s been out in Afghanistan since last September:

I’ve had a number of duties out here. I’m the PTI, but I’ve also been working on the security of the base, doing guard duties, and also liaising with the locals.