The extreme sport world’s UltraX Goes Loopy announced it has chosen SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity as its official partner.
The ultramarathon, based at the Henley Showground, Oxfordshire, on 22 July, is a timed race where teams of runners compete to finish as many loops of a beautiful cross-country circuit as possible in a given time.
Ultra marathon runner, veteran, and SSAFA’s Fundraising Officer for the East of England, Richard French said:
“I am delighted that UltraX have been generous enough to give a portion of the entry fees to SSAFA. The charity really makes a difference to service people and veteran’s lives.”
Richard, a former Coldstream Guardsman, went on numerous tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was badly injured in a blast.
“After all that, it wasn’t being wounded in Afghanistan that ended my career – we were doing a joint exercise in America and something went wrong with my parachute which destroyed my right arm and my shoulder. Five operations and two years of rehab later and I was discharged, my arm has improved since but at the time I had almost no use of my right arm.”
Since then, Richard took to fundraising for SSAFA in a big way. He has competed in the Invictus Games, runs ultra marathons, is also about to run 100 miles in body armour and is a professional fundraiser for SSAFA.
Jamie Sparks, Co-Founder of UltraX said:
“We’re delighted to be partnering with lead charity partner SSAFA for Ultra X goes Loopy! SSAFA have been providing support to the Armed forces for more than 130 years. With many of our competitors being either current servicemen and women, or veterans, we are thrilled to be supporting a cause close to our heart.”
“I am hoping to encourage current service people, as well as all our normal fundraisers, to bring teams along. Loopy is great fun and the ideal place for some teambuilding. After the race there will be entertainment, food wagons and music. There’s nothing better than pitching your tent with a few friends, having a run, getting competitive and then having a party afterwards.”
If you are inspired by Richard’s story, you can sign up for the Loopy event here: https://www.ssafa.org.uk/support-us/challenge-events/run/ultra-x-goes-loopy