After an epic and emotional week long event, Sip earlier today completed the final stint of his challenge, accumulating a total distance of three marathons in a twenty four hour period. Faced with weather conditions that would faze a frog, he ran with courage and determination through the elements to reach the finish line. From torrential rain and thunderstorms to blazing sun, the weather followed the roller coaster of emotions felt by all through the last week, a fitting climate to end what has been a period that all involved will never forget.
Starting the day with over one hundred and forty five hours without sleep, and still showing the scars from day four, we knew that the final day would potentially be the hardest day for Sip to endure. With swollen legs, the state of his feet and the extent of his blisters even before the day started, this would be an epic push to the finish, and that it was. As a total surprise to Sip, the Eights and Aces Motorcycle Club conducted a ride by to start the running challenge, led by one of the team members Colonel Bob. This was a fantastic and emotional start to the day by these hardy veterans, with the weather turning into torrential rain, but still undeterred nonetheless.
Running in the rain, Sip completed his first marathon of 42 kilometres in just under five hours. There was an enforced stop in the early hours of the morning, allowing blisters to be syringed and re-taped during an intense thunderstorm, during which time it was deemed unsafe to be running in an open and saturated airfield. Eventually, with the amazing support of the team, his wife Emma and Staffie Bessy, mountaineering legend Alan Hinkes OBE, and numerous volunteers including Chris and Sian from Motif8, the team finally crossed the finish line at midday, Sip having been active for seven days without sleep or prolonged rest, a monumental achievement.
The regiment were out in force to applaud Sip over the line, an emotional moment for him, and no doubt one of the many standout moments of his distinguished career. He completed over three marathons during his final day, and though the week, literally hundreds of miles in distance against extreme adversity and incredibly difficult conditions. Photographed on completion of the event and greeting his beloved dog above, the week exceeded our wildest expectations and we now look forward. The event has indeed finished, but spreading the message, the lessons, the experience, will continue long into the future. Our work here is not done.
With a current donation tally of over £9500, we sincerely thank all of those who have donated to the cause, an amount we are certain will make a huge difference to not only Combat Stress, but also to people who need their help. The campaign will continue, but for now, time for the team to rest, reflect and strategise for the future. Combat Stress is now well and truly on the map, but that map still needs further unfurling, the reach pushed greater and national level exposure. We will continue, for the good of our veterans and service personnel, those people who have given everything to help protect us.