Flight Sergeant Ali Fisher of RAF Marham, is no stranger to physical feats. This year however sees the 48 year old completing a year of challenges, running over 1000 miles and completing a 100km Ultra Marathon, all in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund and The Royal British Legion.
Hailing from Oldham in Lancashire, Ali currently works as an aircraft engineer and has been serving in the RAF for just over 31 years.
"The reason I took up this challenge," Ali explains, "is because on 5 Jun 2014 my husband Simon got knocked off his motorbike by a car on his way to work.
"He sustained extensive injuries and was in intensive care with three out of four life-threatening injuries and wasn’t expected to live. He’s a strong lad and proved everyone wrong by surviving. I had only been back in the UK a week after spending 4 and a half months in Afghanistan, and brought him home to heal but he couldn’t do anything for himself so I ended up taking six months off work to look after him.
"The welfare worker at RAF Marham came to see me and couldn’t believe I had no help, so she offered me a wheelchair and a reclining chair which were bought by the RAF Benevolent Fund. They have been a godsend and enabled me to take Simon out to loads of places. He practically lives in the recliner as he can’t sit on hard surfaces or sit up straight or lie flat, so it is ideal."
A self confessed fitness fanatic, Ali used to compete in many sports, including half marathons and Taekwon-Do, but they all stopped when Simon had his accident. But when Ali was back at work she made the decision that she needed to get her life back on track, having been a carer for so long.
"I entered the RAF Championships for Horse Riding the weekend I got back and the UK Championships for Taekwon-Do in November. Then I entered the Heartbreaker marathon at the end of February. I decided if I was going to put myself through all this pain that I should try raise money! So I decided to support both the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Royal British Legion.
"Then I thought if I had something to aim for I'd get back to my normal fitness so I decided on the year long challenges and it sort of escalated from there!"
So far Ali's training has been going well, despite the harsh training conditions through the winter. "It's been hard fitting all the training in and juggling working on a busy squadron and looking after Simon," Ali admits, "but they are all achievements and he can do a lot for himself now which makes life a lot easier."
Ali's main event was the 100km Ultra marathon 16 July: "That was longest I've ever ran! It's all cross country but was amazing, and it's a personal achievement more than anything! I have also signed up for the Snowdonia marathon so it was good practice!"
With her initial target of £1000, Ali has increased the figure to £2000 as she has received so much support.