Owner of Oxygen and Masdings, Newark, teams up with pals to complete Great North Run for Walking With The Wounded
A Newark shop owner is teaming up with some pals who are ex-military to raise funds for Walking With The Wounded.
Darren Burke, of Oxygen and Masdings on Middlegate, said he had always wanted to do a run fundraiser and thought the Great North Run would be the perfect challenge.
He hopes to cross the finish line with mates Scott Graham and Will Richardson, both who are veterans, on Sunday.
"My friend Scott does a lot of charity work for Walking With The Wounded and I thought it was a great cause to get involved with," said Darren.
"I've always fancied doing a run and this will be a challenge, but it'll be worth it."
Darren has been training for more than a month now, and managed to tick off a total of 50km last week.
He said: "I did four sets of 12.5kms last week and I've got to complete 13.1 miles on the day, so I've got a bit more to do.
"We are going to try and cross the finish line together. Scott and Will are quite confident they can do it.
"Will has got an ankle injury at the moment but is still pressing on — if Scott and I have to go back for him, we will."
Wife Michelle said: "He had a wobble throughout his training but he just determined to finish."
Darren added the fundraising support in general and that from his customers at Oxygen was incredible.
"Working at Oxygen has helped me and people have been really generous," he said.
"I'm looking to raise about £1,000, and so are Scott and Will."
Scott Graham, of North Muskham, was stationed around the world as a British Army medic for 12 years — including in Afghanistan and Iraq — and has friends who have received help from Walking With The Wounded.
"With government cuts across almost all sectors, ex-military personnel in particular have been really well supported by charities," said Scott.
"Without these charities there would be a lot more veterans struggling.
"It is easy for us to help, so we will."
He added such charities were even more so being supported at the moment given the current situation in Afghanistan, which could lead to a re-emergence of PTSD for some veterans.
Scott said although he isn't as fit as when he was serving — when he was also a personal trainer - but that he was definitely up to the task.
"There is no specific time that we're sticking to and we will cross the line together," he said.
"This is for the greater good but also personal achievements and hopefully a stepping stone for the future. I do a lot of fundraising myself but to do it as a group of blokes with a common interest is great.
"Next year will be The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge."
To help Darren, Scott and Will in their fundraisers, visit here and click the particular one you'd like to donate to.