What's happening?

Epic run to raise funds for Shropshire charity
05 Jul 2016
by Rhea Alton

A Shropshire-born advertising manager is taking on an epic 130 mile run along the Shropshire Way with a group of running mates, to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity’s Shropshire Branch.

Peter McCarthy, whose parents still live near Wem, will average over a marathon a day (around 28 miles) with his team to complete the 130 miles within just five days. The group will carry its own kit and camp overnight, come rain or shine.

The challenge starts on August 3 and will take the team around Wem to the Shropshire Union Canal, through wetlands, peat bogs, along the River Vyrnwy up the Long Mynd to the ruined castle in Clun, over the Ironbridge and then onto the Severn and into Shrewsbury where the team will finish on August 7.

Mr McCarthy said: “The idea for the challenge came from a run I did with my brother on Christmas Day around Whixall Moss.

“With Shropshire being the county of my youth and a place of incredibly beauty, history and

stunning wildlife, we thought it would make the perfect backdrop for a summer run around the county.”

“My father was a pilot in the RAF so the idea of supporting his peers, colleagues and brave people that, like him, decided to serve their country was very appealing to me and that’s why we are raising funds for SSAFA Shropshire, where the money will be spent on veterans, reservists, Armed Forces personnel and their families in need here in the county.

“My mother also informed me that she had been given an excellent talk at the Ellesmere Rotary club by a SSAFA representative. Not to mention the fact that as my run is about appreciating and exploring Shropshire, it seemed right that Shropshire residents should benefit from the experience.

“I also recently discovered that SSAFA had been helping the Armed Forces community for more than 130 years and I wanted to be a part of a heritage of kindness and give something back to people that have clearly given so much for us.

“Training is going well. I recently ran the first leg of the run and I have completed several long runs in the past, such as The Box Hill Fell Run.”

“Rest assured I will be quoting A.E.Housman’s ‘a Shropshire Lad’ to the increasing annoyance of my co-runners throughout the run; especially when times are hard. At the time they will probably want me to be quiet, but as the years go by, I’m certain that they will remember it more fondly.”

To help the team reach their target of £4,000 for SSAFA Shropshire, visit their fundraising page – www.justgiving.com/The-Shropshire- Way

SSAFA Shropshire Branch chairman rtd Brigadier Andrew Meek said: “We wish Mr McCarthy and his team the very best with their challenge, are honoured that he chose SSAFA Shropshire branch to benefit and we thank all those who have donated so far.

“The team is really taking on quite a mission and each mile represents one year that SSAFA has been providing support to our Armed Forces – 130 years in total.

“The charity has shown its commitment to our serving personnel, veterans, reservists and their families in getting them the best possible support when they need it and we can only continue to do that with the help of people willing to fundraise for us, such as Mr McCarthy, thank you again.”

If you are interested in joining your local SSAFA team, to give something back to the Armed Forces in Shropshire, email shropshire@ssafa.co.uk or contact 01743 344220.

Roland Ellis, James Lightbown, Rob Jones, Alec Waterworth, Peter McCarthy during one of their trial runs.

Roland Ellis, James Lightbown, Rob Jones, Alec Waterworth, Peter McCarthy during one of their trial runs.