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Marines take on Tresco

A team of marines in full gear and carrying 30lbs backpacks will run the Tresco Marathon on the Isles of Scilly on Sunday 13 April 2008.

The ten-man, Plymouth based, 42 Commando Royal Marines team is aiming to raise money to improve the lives of the thousands of people living with Cystic Fibrosis, the UK’s most common, life-threatening, inherited disease.

Team leader Captain Tim Lewington’s brother Oli (25) suffers from the disease but following a life saving double lung transplant in November last year, is set to join Tim for the final mile.

They will be joined at the start line by GMTV presenter and CF Trust patron Ben Shephard who is undertaking his first marathon. If all goes well at the end of seven and a half laps with harsh inclines, the marines and over 100 other brave runners will be cheered over the finish line by travel writer Bill Bryson and actress Jenny Agutter.

Cpt Lewington explained: “Oli had been on the transplant list for over two years as Cystic Fibrosis had gradually destroyed his lungs. On the day of his operation I promised him I would get a team to run the Tresco marathon and he would join us for the end. I am delighted that his medical team have helped him to make this a reality and I hope we can raise loads of money and inspire others to have a go.”

Now in its ninth year, the Tresco marathon began when Pete Hingston, island chef and father of Jade, a nine year old who has CF, set up a marathon on the island to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Since then the marathon has raised over £400,000 and the island is determined to break the half million pound barrier this year. All the money raised will help fund research into finding an effective treatment for Cystic Fibrosis.

Rosie Barnes, Chief Executive of Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “The money raised by the marathon funds potentially life saving research into gene therapy, and gives real hope to thousands of families living with the day to day reality of CF.

“Oli Lewington has always been a great ambassador of the Trust and we are thrilled that he is able to be part of the marathon this year. The Tresco marathon is more than a marathon; it is a weekend experience that greatly helps to raise morale, support our fundraising, and raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis.”

The 26.2 mile course is made up of seven and a half laps run in a figure of eight around a three and a half mile circuit. The runners, many of whom come back year after year, say that although the harsh inclines en route are a gruelling test of stamina, the breath-taking landscapes and silver sanded beaches sloping into crystal clear water, make it an idyllic setting for such a demanding pursuit, providing an entirely unique experience.

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