SUPER-FIT naval officers from Wearside have given themselves a harder task than most competitors entering this year’s Great North Run on Sunday.
As part of a group of seven people, they will be carrying with them more than six stones of dead weight on a stretcher in the form of a man overboard dummy called Ruth.
They are bidding to raise cash for St Benedict’s Hospice in Sunderland, as well as the RNRMC (Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity).
The hospice has been chosen after they cared for a shipmate, AB (Able Seaman) Mick Sherriff, who died last year.
The RNRMC is the unit’s chosen charity which supports past and present sailors and marines, providing them with a better quality of life away from the Navy.
Team leader, Leading Seaman Elle Forrest, from Chester-le-Street, said: “Running 13.1 miles with Ruth is going to be a massive challenge.
“We are all fit and good runners but this brings a new dimension to the event.
“We have trained hard and are hoping to raise more than £2,000 between the two charities.”
Alongside Elle will be AB Keith Mason, from Houghton, AB David Tarren from Durham, and ABs Matt Scott and Adam Franklin, who both hail from Sunderland.
HMS Calliope’s commanding officer, Commander Andy Collier, said he was impressed with the initiative and training carried out by his team in preparation for this weekend’s run.
“Elle and the team really typify the commitment, teamwork and sense of community spirit that makes the Royal Navy and her Reserves the best in the world,” said Commander Collier.
“This is a major effort and I wish the team well on Great North Run day.
“I’m very proud of them.”
To donate, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/GreatNorth