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Submariner set for charity challenges

12 August 2016
A submariner based at HMS Raleigh has set himself the goal of undertaking 12 physical challenges in nine months to raise money for a charity.

Warrant Officer Damien Holloway will be running, trekking and cycling both individually and as part of a team to raise funds for the Paul McCann Fund for Needy Children.  

Damien’s 12 challenges started in June when he took part in the Brecon Beacons Challenge, a two-day adventurous training exercise in the Brecon Beacons run by the Royal Navy.  

Damien was among a team from the Royal Navy Submarine School who took part in the race against the clock consisting of a 25 kilometre (km) mountain walk, 30 km mountain bike phase and a 500 metre kayak.

Just two days later he took part in the Torbay Half Marathon and then the Six Moor Miles off-road race at the beginning of July.

Next was another team event, the Glyndŵr's Way National Trail trek over 135 miles between Knighton and Welshpool through Powys.

Damien, aged 41, said, “I did ok in the Torbay Half Marathon. I finished in one hour 43, I wanted to do it a lot quicker, but the Brecon Beacons challenge took its toll on me and I slowed down a bit towards the end. The Glyndŵr's Way walk took eight days to complete. It was extremely hot and it turned into nearly 150 miles with the official diversions.”

Next up for Damien is the Dartmoor Perambulation, a 50 mile trek that he plans to do in August, alongside Chief Petty Officer Ian Robertson, another shipmate, who also took part in the Glyndŵr's Way.

Damien said, “After that I’ve got a French cycling event, the Wiggle French Sportive, in September with a civilian friend of mine. It’s only a 100 kilometre ride. For the Equinox run, a 24 hour run at Belvoir castle in Leicestershire, we’ve got a team of five running that at the moment.  

"You get to camp out at the weekend and we have some corporate sponsorship from Wheal Jane, a local mining company. The Plymouth 10K in October, I’ve got to sign up for that one yet. Then there’s the Eden Project Half Marathon, which I’ve done before, followed by the Dartmoor Vale Half Marathon, leading to the big one, the Florence Marathon at the end of November and then the biggest one of all, the Falklands Marathon in March next year to finish off.”

The Paul McGann Fund for Needy Children was set up in memory of Paul McGann, a Royal Navy submariner. Paul and another submariner, Anthony Huntrod, sadly lost their lives whilst serving on board HMS Tireless in 2007. Damien was Paul’s line manager on the submarine and the two men were also close friends.  

More information on the charity is available at www.fundforneedychildren.com. Anyone wishing to sponsor Damien can do so online at www.justgiving.com/Damien-H

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