Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
30 October 2013

Ordinary dads complete extraordinary race for SSAFA

John Harris and Leigh James have completed one of the world's toughest marathons for SSAFA, as part of the Stephen Laws Memorial Year.


Ordinary dads complete extraordinary race for SSAFA

John Harris and Leigh James donned SSAFA running vests, braved the brutal weather and thrashed their way through the "Marathon Eryri" this weekend, all to support our Forces and their families.

This epic contest of endurance, also known as the Snowdonia marathon, is rated one of the toughest marathons in the UK and there are few 26.2-milers that compare to it.

The demanding and spectacular route, encircling Snowdon, Wales’ and England’s highest peak, has given the event a unique place in the annual marathon calendar, where runners take part for the pure challenge of the race not just to score a personal best time.

When asked about completing such an act of endurance, John explained “We are both humbled and proud to have completed this challenge. We trained exceptionally hard but the weather and the mountainous terrain make it an incredibly difficult race. “

He continues, “We are a couple of ordinary dads the wrong side of 40 trying to do something slightly extraordinary, but we know that our Service folks do much tougher things every day.”

John and Leigh began training for the marathon after attending a dinner in memory of ex-Serviceman Stephen Laws, who died in March last year. His son Mark, a good friend of both men, is in the middle of year long charity drive to raise money in memory of his dad for both SSAFA and the Foundation of Light. So far the men have raised £4000 to contribute to Mark's planned fundraising total of £50,000.

On hearing that John and Leigh had finished the epic endurance race, Mark tweeted to congratulate them: “@johncaharris & Leigh completed the Snowdon Marathon in 3:50 & 4:36. Great effort as was their £4k raised for @SSAFA http://justgiving.com/JohnH-LeighJ.”

Mark has already raised a staggering £15,000 through his fundraising activity with lots of support from his family and friends.

To show your support for SSAFA, visit John and Leigh’s fundraising page or follow Mark's progress during his year of fundraising at the Stephen Laws memorial page.