Local Navy veteran runs London Marathon for SSAFA

29 February 2024

Ashley Rutland, a Royal Navy Gulf War veteran from Fleet, Hampshire, is running the London Marathon in April in support of SSAFA. He has promised that, if he reaches his fundraising total of £2,500, he will dye his hair blue before the race.

Ashley is no beginner to running, having already run five marathons, but his last one was 15 years ago.

Ashley said: "I hadn't run in years but last year I did the Couch to 10k, then, the week after, twisted my ankle. So I only started running again at Christmas"

Not to be put off, Ashley is up and running, and on target to complete the London Marathon on the 21st of April.

Ashley has a special reason for wanting to support SSAFA.

“Six years ago, when I was getting divorced, I was finding it really difficult to cope. I suffered with depression and anxiety. I felt like my whole world was falling apart. A SSAFA volunteer helped me at that point and I am so grateful. Now I want to give something back.”

Ashley has some helpful tips for running too:

“I always try to make my run more enjoyable by ending it at my local pub. It gives you something to aim for and they are always so supportive.”

Ashley’s local is doing more than pulling him a pint at the end of a long run, they are holding a quiz night and raffle to help Ashley raise the £2,500 he needs to qualify for a place with the charity.

The quiz takes place at the De Havilland Arms in Fleet on 10 March at 7pm.

Please feel free to call our Forcesline if you need any support.

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