Ex RAF-Corporal Mark Hanson is no stranger to endurance feats, and this Sunday sees him take to the streets of the capital for the London Marathon.
Having already completed the marathon more than 20 years ago whilst still serving in the RAF, Mark has taken up the gruelling 26.2 miles this year in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund. No stranger to challenge events of all kinds, Mark has completed the TrailWalker and Trailtrekker for charity in the past, as well as cycling from John O'Groats to Land’s End.
This Sunday however sees Mark put his toughest training yet to the test. "Training this time has been very challenging," Mark explains. "Everything was going okay until January when I strained my knee, which put me out for four weeks. Then I got a thigh strain which put me out for another week – so overall, not the best preparation for the run, but onwards and upwards!"
With 12 years of service to his name, Mark is attempting to conquer the marathon so that he can continue to give something back to the charity.
"I volunteer my time for the Fund, doing things like the Eastbourne Airshow and even dressing up as their mascot Ben Elephant at Goodwood Revival," Mark recounts. "My granddad was in the RAF during World War II, as a Flight Engineer flying Lancasters with 100 Squadron. He was shot down on a raid in July 1944: six of the crew survived including my Grandad, but the Mid-Upper Gunner, Flight Sergeant John Sharpley, was killed, so I’m doing this to honour them all."
Mark is hoping to raise over £500 when he runs this weekend, alongside a number of other supporters, all running for the Fund.