A BOVINGTON-based Royal Marine inspired by Forrest Gump will take part in a coast-to-coast run across America to raise money for injured comrades.
Corporal Lloyd Fenner, 29, and five other runners have formed a team of British and American marines to attempt the 3,530-mile run, as depicted in the 1994 Oscar-winning film.
They start in New York City on Friday and hope to cross the finish line in Los Angeles 63 days later.
The fighting-fit team aims to tackle the challenge, dubbed the Gumpathon,with each member completing approximately 20 miles a day for eight weeks, while raising cash for three Services charities.
These are The Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund and Help for Heroes in the UK and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund in the US.
The team hopes to raise £1m for each charity.
Colour Sergeant Damian Todd, of the Royal Marines, organised the fundraiser after a close friend of his, Mark Ormrod, became the first triple amputee of the war in Afghanistan.
Astonishingly, Mark will be running alongside the team despite his injuries.
Cpl Fenner, who has been based at Bovington for two years, said: “During my tours in Afghanistan and Iraq I had several friends who received life-threatening injuries and a few of them died.
“We are trying to raise as much as we can for injured servicemen and women and we will do our best not to let anyone down.”
He added: “We do try and keep ourselves fit and I have done up to a single marathon distance before but I haven’t ever done anything to this extreme.
“We pride ourselves in trying to push ourselves that little bit further so I have faith in all of us and believe we can do it.”
Cpl Fenner was one of the three Bovington-based Royal Marines who was honoured for showing outstanding bravery in Afghanistan at the end of 2008.
The Armoured Support Company, including Cpl Fenner, won an award for the “True Grit Group” at the prestigious Sun Military Awards.
l To sponsor the team should visit gumpathon.com