SOLDIERS from a Northern regiment are preparing to remember their fallen comrade by taking part in the Budapest Marathon.
On October 11, a squad from the Light Dragoons, based in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, will run the event, in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The Durham Tees Valley Airport-based charity flew to the aid of Sergeant Mark Foley and Lance Corporal Josh Osborne after their vehicle overturned while on a training exercise at Warcop, Cumbria.
Sergeant Foley died in the incident, while Lance Corporal Osborne, from Morpeth, was severely injured but has since gone on to make a recovery.
Last week, eight members of the regiment travelled to visit GNAAS paramedics at their base ahead of their fundraising challenge.
Major Joe Jordan, of the Light Dragoons, said: “We will always be grateful to GNAAS for providing critical and timely action and saving Lance Corporal Osborne, after he sustained life-threatening spinal and neck injuries.
“It was not until we watched the documentary earlier this year that we realised GNAAS is entirely dependent on public and business donations. There was a lot of suggestions for charities to run for but GNAAS felt like the right one for us.
“We have done a bit of training in the time that we have had but it will be a challenge, we have had men running the Great North Run many times but we wanted to do something different.
“A number of us haven’t ran a marathon before, let alone undergone a decent amount of marathon training. I guess that is the best way, go into it blind.
“We are expecting both competitive times and very broken and tired runners by the end.”
Mandy Drake, of GNAAS, said: “We are immensely grateful to the Light Dragoons for thinking of us. The Warcop rescue was just one of hundreds of missions we flew last year, all of which were paid for by public donations.
“The money raised will be spent ensuring the service can continue to respond where and when it is needed. On behalf of those it will help, we thank everyone taking part in the marathon and those supporting them.”
To sponsor the Light Dragoons visit their fundraising page by clicking here.