Ipswich: Royal Marine Carl sets London Marathon world record

IPSWICH/FELIXSTOWE: A Royal Marine is today enjoying some well-earned rest after he broke the London Marathon world record for the fastest running time – while carrying a 60lb backpack!

Sergeant Carl Creasey, who is originally from Felixstowe, took on the tough challenge to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by our armed forces in Afghanistan, who carry this weight and more every day.

He has been training since before Christmas doing regular 13 and 15-mile runs with instructor Ben Law, who also accompanied him during the race on Sunday, and completed the race in a record-breaking four hours and 50 minutes.

Although he just missed out on his four-and-a-half hour target, he managed to beat the previous record of nearly five-and-a-half hours, which – in a bit of inter-service rivalry – was held by a Para.

He said: “I set myself a target and I knew I was going to achieve it regardless. When I hit the 13-mile point, I had done that in two hours. From then on I think the heat kicked in, but I just had to keep going.

“It’s the same thing that drives the lads in Afghanistan – it’s that grit and determination that makes you a Royal Marine Commando.

“But the heat really stressed the point I was trying to show. We were running through the streets of London with bottles of water and Lucozade being handed to us and loads of people there to support us, whereas the lads are going through Afghanistan with nothing but what they have with them and they’ve got to grin and bear it, and stay alert – otherwise they could get blown up.

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“I wanted to highlight what a lot of other Royal Marines are enduring. It’s a good reminder of how lucky we are.”

Carl, a former Deben High School student who has a flat in Ipswich, raised a fantastic �2,500 for Seafarers UK, which cares for the families of people in the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy or fishing fleets.

He thanked mum Dot and dad Steven, who live in Kirton, for their efforts in raising the money including putting on a car boot sale and a number of events with friends, as well as attracting donations from the Ipswich Lions Club, Medite Shipping Company and Felixstowe Hospital’s Croydon unit.

“It was a phenomenal atmosphere,” added the 30-year-old. “Lots of people were shouting out support as we went by.

“It was really good to have that support around you with everyone going through the same thing.

“I’m now looking forward to what I’m going to do next.”

Guinness World Records spokesman Damian Field said: “This was an incredible effort by Carl, smashing the previous Guinness World Record by more than 35 minutes.”

n What do you think of Carl’s achievement? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.