Runner aims to boost heroes

A CHARITY runner is taking part in the world's toughest road race to raise money for soldiers from Suffolk wounded abroad.

A CHARITY runner is taking part in the world's toughest road race to raise money for soldiers from Suffolk wounded abroad.

Richard Smith, a member of Woodbridge Shufflers, is supporting the Help for Heroes charity which looks after soldiers who have been injured in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He was spurred on to raise money for the new charity because of the proximity of the Ministry of Defence's flagship �80million new Rock Barracks, just outside Woodbridge.

Soldiers from the barracks have been on overseas tours of duty and Help for Heroes will also support injured soldiers from Colchester.

The 47-year-old runner has qualified for the South African Comrades, a 56-mile race on May 24, and he will be one of very few runners to fly the flag for England in the race.

He started training in November and qualified through his time of 3hrs 35mins at the Hastings Marathon in December which was his 150th race for Woodbridge Shufflers.

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Now Ufford Park Hotel and Golf Club has agreed to make a substantial donation to cover Mr Smith's training costs.

Mr Smith, of Lower Ufford, near Woodbridge, said: ''The Comrades is known as the 'ultimate human race' in which runners have to triumph over adversity.

''There is no hiding place in the Comrades - it is run on a very hilly route under the blazing sunshine between Pietermaritzburg and Durban with cut-off times along the way.

''If you do not complete the timed stages then you are scooped up by a bus and thrown out of the race.''

Very few runners from England enter the race and last year only 13 English runners finished.

Donations can be made online via www.justgiving.com/richardsmithofufford

Cheques can be made payable to Help for Heroes and sent to 3 Lady Cottages, Church Lane, Lower Ufford, Woodbridge. IP136DS.

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