While most of us were still fast asleep this morning, a Stockton fitness instructor began a gruelling military-style 22-mile march to raise funds for Sport Relief.
Sam Bishop, who was in the Royal Marines for five years and the Army Reserve for four years before that, will begin his charity ‘speed march’ at 4am, journeying from his home in Stockton to the Go Commando bootcamp session in Nuneaton that he helps to manage.
And the 28-year-old will not only be carrying a 14kg rucksack plus water to add to his efforts, but he will also take part in the bootcamp after completing the march.
Sam said: “I passed out of the Marines in 2011 and the last thing you have to do to earn your Green Beret is the ‘30 miler’ - which is a speed march with the same conditions as this, except the distance is greater, there are more hills and you have eight hours. I am hoping to do this in five hours.
“Being in the forces makes you realise how conflicts around the world affect different people - it gives you a sense of perspective.
“I watch Sport Relief every year and think I ought to do something, so this year, I made up my mind that I would.”
‘Speed marching’ is a mixture of running - about ten-minute-per-mile pace) and power walking, with the basic concept being that you run the flats, march the uphills, and run faster on the downhills.
The method has been used since the Commandos were formed during the Second World War as a means of transporting troops over a long distance quickly and effectively, but still leaving them with the energy to fight when they reach their destination.
Anyone is invited to take part in the Go Commando session, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday) at Paul’s Land Park in Lutterworth Road, Nuneaton, starting at 9.30am. To find out more, visit www.gocommandobootcamp.co.uk
Sport Relief encourages people to get active to raise funds for Comic Relief, which supports disadvantaged people across the UK and abroad.
To sponsor Sam, visit www.justgiving.com/gocommandosam
To find out more about Sport Relief, visit www.sportrelief.com