Brighton and Hove police tackle marathon with a difference

Posted On 05 May 2011 at 3:05 pm

Eighteen rugby playing police officers have come up with their own version of the Brighton marathon to raise money for charity.

The Sussex Police officers, mostly from the emergency response teams in Brighton and Hove, plan to pull a police riot van for 26.2 miles along the seafront.

Their marathon fundraising effort is due to start at 6am next Wednesday (11 May) from the Palace Pier.

They will work in teams of six taking turns to pull the 3.5 tonne Mercedes to and from the mile marker at Black Rock.

Their aim – apart from raising money for Help for Heroes – is to finish within 12 to 14 hours.

PC Andy Dunkling, a Brighton and Hove emergency response officer, came up with the fundraising idea after a friend of his died while serving in Afghanistan.

He said: “Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, was killed in Afghanistan on 20 December 2009.

“He was a loved brother, son and friend. He will never be forgotten and I wanted to do something to celebrate his life and to raise money for others.

“We have all been training hard, with strict gym regimes and plenty of rugby practice.

“But I think it would be fair to say that we are all starting to feel slightly daunted by the enormous task ahead.”

Sergeant Andy Standing, another emergency response officer from Brighton and Hove who has helped co-ordinate the marathon van pull, said: “We have had fantastic support already, with On Time Recovery supplying the ropes and Centurion Rugby providing the harnesses we will be using.

“We are aiming to raise £5,000 in aid of Help For Heroes and would appreciate people’s support in cheering us on.

“We will be collecting money throughout the day in Madeira Drive or it’s easy to donate online with a credit or debit card – just go to our Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/marathonvanpull.

“Just Giving sends your donation straight to Help for Heroes and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you’re a UK taxpayer so your donation is worth even more.“

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