Lancashire soldier goes the distance in Afghanistan
A paratrooper from Chorley has raised more than twelve hundred pounds for charity after running a marathon with a difference around his base in Helmand Province.
Lance Corporal Robert Fisher (39) – who is serving with The 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment in Shahzad – ran around the base twenty-six times in his body armour while carrying a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).
“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon carrying a GPMG while wearing body armour,” he said. “I thought it would be something different.”
It took Robert 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 of harder. I was hoping to do it in under six hours, but I started cramping up around the nineteen mile point.”
“For the last six miles, it was mind over matter. For me, it’s worth the pain, it’s worth the fatigue. I’ve raised over twelve hundred pounds for two charities.
The money will be split between the Afghanistan Trust and the NSPCC.
“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, Robert 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.”
Robert is due to return home to Chorley next month (20th April 2011).
“My wife and family have been very supportive while I’ve been out here,” he said. “But they’re always glad to see me come home.”