Banbridge RFC Notes: Derek and Andy to run Ultra-Marathon for WGAA

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On 23rd June, Banbridge RFC’s Honorary Secretary Derek Moorhead and past player Andy Gorringe will undertake a two day ultra marathon event starting in Carlisle and following Hadrian’s Wall to Newcastle.

The two men are running in support of the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal with any money raised going to support soldiers wounded on operations and also the families and dependents of those killed in action. Derek explains “this is in memory of my friend Lt. Col R Thorneloe MBE, who was killed in Afghanistan on 1st July 2009 and supports his regimental charity.”

The route consists of road, trail and open hillside and the runner will complete 35 miles on day one and 34 miles on day two.

Donations can be made online at:

Derek said “I have previously supported the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal in memory of my very dear friend Lt Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards who was killed in action in Helmand Province on 1st July 2009. Rupert is survived by his wife and two young children. It is my privilege to be godfather to the eldest, Hannah.

“Six other soldiers under Rupert’s command were killed during the 2009 tour and a number sustained serious injury. The battalion is currently preparing for redeployment to Afghanistan in early 2012.

“In 2010 I ran the Belfast and Dublin marathons and in 2011 I completed the London, Belfast, Newry and Dublin marathons and have entered this year’s Edinburgh marathon.

“Recently I was approached by my colleague and former rugby team mate Andy Gorringe, who suggested that it would be a good idea to enter the “Wall Ultra Run Event” which takes in the 69 mile length of Hadrian’s Wall from Carlisle to Gateshead over 23rd and 24th June 2012 in support of WGAA. As I will be training for Edinburgh I thought why not give it a go. Our target is to complete the distance in less than 24 hours. We have also entered the Belfast marathon at the beginning of May.

“We are also be taking part in these events in memory of another very dear friend, RUC GC Constable Jon Reid, killed in the execution of his duty in Crossmaglen on 25th Februrary 1993 and our former Banbridge RFC team mate L/Cpl Stephen McKee, 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, killed in action in Afghanistan on 9th March 2011.

“Any money raised will go to soldiers wounded on operations and also the families and dependents of those killed in action. Please have a look at the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal website to get more of an idea of where the money will go

“The generosity of those who have previously made donations to WGAA in connection with my fundraising activities in 2010/2011 has been overwhelming and for that I thank you all.

“This continues to be an extremely worthy cause so once again we ask you to consider giving some of your hard earned cash; I can assure you that it will be put to good use on behalf of those who need it most.

“Thanks in advance,Derek & Andy.

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