Serving United States Marine, Six Star Medal holder doing Half Ironman challenge for SSAFA

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07 June 2024

Clinton Firstbrook IV, having recently completed the London Marathon, will continue challenging himself with a Half Ironman this Sunday 9 June in Cambridge, Maryland. He will be doing so for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Running is one of Clint’s favourite hobbies, something he has done since he was a teenager.

“I was a cross country and track athlete back in the high school days. Nothing to write home about, decent times, but running was always my way of helping out with my mental health.”

As Clint battled mental health struggles while serving in the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, he began running more and more, keeping him active as well as helping him deal with his troubled mind.

“It came to a point whether I had to address my medical and mental health situations, or I wasn’t going to be able to serve any longer.”

Even with his own struggles in the past Clint considers himself one of the lucky ones, and says, “I have three healthy, wonderful kids, and a loving wife that are my biggest supporters, in addition to my dad, sister and other relatives that are running enthusiasts.”

Clint raised over £2,500 for SSAFA in his London Marathon bid back on 21 April, joining an elite group of active U.S. servicemembers who have received a Six Star Medal for completing all six of the Abbot World Marathon Majors - Boston, Tokyo, New York, Chicago, Berlin, and London. He is now aiming for a Half Ironman, with the goal of completing a full Ironman later this year.

All of these marathons and physical challenges are not just for Clint’s list of personal accolades; he feels strongly about raising awareness for mental health and giving back to the Armed Forces community.

“The war isn’t being shown on TV anymore, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still people out there who are suffering, that are going to require lifelong care and commitment. And we owe it to them to take care of them.”

The Half Ironman at Cambridge, Maryland will certainly test Clint in new ways. Along with a 13.1 mile half-marathon, the challenge also requires a 56-mile bike ride and 1.2-mile swim in the Choptank River. While this combination may sound daunting to you or me, to someone as tried and tested as Clint, it may as well be just another Sunday afternoon.

“It’s going to be quite the challenge. If I have a good time, I’ll definitely train for the next one.”

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

0800 260 6780

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