A former soldier is gearing up for his biggest challenge yet in memory of 18 Lancashire soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dave Moretta, 26, from Ribchester, is running 18 marathons in as many days.
He is taking on the epic challenge for two reasons, as a tribute to the 18 Lancashire soldiers to have lost their lives during the Iraq and Afghan conflicts, some of whom he knew, and also to launch the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in the North West.
By running more than 26 miles each day for 18 consecutive days, the former Queen’s Lancashire Regiment Kingsman aims to raise £6,000 for the Royal British Legion, which helped him when he came out of the Army.
So far £1,000 has been pledged for Dave’s challenge, which begins at Weeton Barracks at 9.45am on Thursday, October 24.
Starting the run will be Natalie Coupe, widow of Sgt Nigel Coupe, from St Annes. He was one of six soldiers to lose their lives when their armoured vehicle was caught in an explosion in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, in March 2012.
The first day of the run will be in memory of Sgt Coupe.
Dave plans to finish 471.6 miles later on Remembrance Sunday, November 10.
On his last lap he will be given an official escort from Fulwood Barracks to Blackburn Cathedral by members of the Royal British Legion riders’ branch, arriving in time for the main remembrance events of the day.
A keen runner and charity fund-raiser, Dave says he wants to carry out this latest challenge before his career as an endurance runner is halted through injury or retirement.
He said: “I wear my heart on my sleeve and am passionate about the armed forces and Lancashire.
“I just wanted to give the 18 men who have died another send off and then I will have done my bit.”