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RAF pilot from Abbots Bromley completes epic run for 448 lost soldiers in Afghanistan

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A RAF pilot who was running a mile for each of the 448 soldiers killed in Afghanistan has completed the mammoth challenge - more than doubling his fund-raising target in the process.

Flight Lieutenant Rob Platt, formerly of Abbots Bromley, has officially run the equivalent of 17 marathons in 17 days with his colleagues Graeme Hunt and Tom Mountney - and even returned back to work the next day.

The epic run originally aimed to raise £10,000 for Help for Heroes, Blesma, the RAF Association, Combat Stress and the John Thornton Young Achievers Association.

However, the C130J Hercules pilots have now well and truly exceeded this target and at last count had raise more than £20,000.

With the cash still rolling in and waiting to be counted, the father-of-three hopes it could be nearer £30,000 by the time they have finished.

This total was helped with a donation of £10,000 from the MMB Foundation.

Flt Lt Platt said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us.

“Not just the sponsors but the people who came out to see us as we were going past, hooted their horns and who brought out coffee when the weather was bad.

“It would have been so much harder without your support.

“Every time we have heard the phone go with another donation it acted as a morale boost and we realised why we are doing it and it kept us going.”

The trio decided they wanted to run a mile for every soldier killed in Operation Herrick around the south of the country after returning from a tour where they saw for themselves the injuries sustained by some of the soldiers.

While on tour in Afghanistan one of their roles was to take the injured soldiers to the hospitals.

They also did a similar role during the war out in Iraq.

With soldiers preparing to leave Afghanistan at the end of the year, they wanted to do something to help the soldiers who have returned with physical or psychological injuries.

It will also act as a big boost for the five charities who Flt Lt Platt believes will see a drop in donations once the conflict starts receiving less coverage in the news.

Speaking of the run, the 38-year-old added: “My feet really hurt but once you got running it became easier but it was the starting after stopping which was the hard bit.

“We were out-running people who were joining us. It has just been great.

“I don’t think what we are doing represents being brave.

“We have just been running and in a couple of weeks we will be all better again.

“The guys who have come back from Afghanistan without arms or legs or suffering from psychological injuries are the ones who have got this long journey ahead of them.”

The team is still welcoming any donations to either of the five charities and the three men added that every little helps.

More information on sponsoring the pilots is available by visiting 444run.co.uk and clicking on the link for the charity to make a donation.

They can also be followed on Twitter @444run or through the Facebook page.

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