An Army doctor at Frimley Park Hospital is expecting to turn to nursing … tired limbs, that is, after scheduling an extraordinary trio of tough physical challenges to raise money for the Charity.
Ben Smith, 26, originally from Aldershot but now based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, is to undertake the London Marathon, in October, the Struggle Moors – an ultra-endurance cycling sportive in Yorkshire, covering 112 miles and more than 10,000ft of elevation – in July, and an ongoing, self-titled ‘457 Challenge’, which encompasses 457 completions of testing hill runs.
He explained: “Challenge 457 will see me completing one hill rep on testing hills in my local area for each fatality suffered by the UK armed forces in the Afghan conflict over the last 20 years – sadly, there were 457 of them. I want to complete that challenge by the time of the London Marathon on 2 October.
“I’m doing it to raise funds and increase awareness for Help for Heroes, which is an incredible charity. It is difficult to adequately summarise the qualities required to survive, recover, rehabilitate, and, eventually, restart following any injury sustained in service.
"It is difficult to adequately summarise the qualities required to survive, recover, rehabilitate, and, eventually, restart following any injury sustained in service ..."
“This is not confined to the physical. Nor it is confined to those who serve, but the families of those who do also. I have the honour to serve those who serve and grew up following the incredible work Help for Heroes have done and continue to do.
“In the wake of recent conflicts there is a huge burden of both physical and psychological injury. I’m hoping people will donate to help me help others thrive despite this.”
Dean Williams, the Charity’s Area Fundraising Manager, added: “Ben has set himself an enormous challenge – but he’s correct when he says it’s also a massive challenge for a veteran to recover after suffering injury, illness or a wound while in service.
"Selfless people like Ben, who is testing his body to the full to raise valuable funds, are such a huge help to the Charity as we look to support those veterans on their road to recovery. Our thanks go out to Ben for taking on these three challenges and we hope the generous British public will support him in his endeavours.”