Wounded war hero Luke Wigman is set to run seven marathons, on seven continents for a second time
War hero Luke Wigman will this week run seven marathons, on seven continents in seven days – for a second time.
Elite RAF paratrooper Luke, 33, from Selston, Nottingham, starts the epic race this Thursday in Antarctica as he bids to become the first Brit to ever run the World Marathon Challenge twice.
He scooped a Sun Military Award after completing the epic running challenge in 2017 after suffering horror leg injuries when he stood on a hidden bomb in 2011 in Helmand.
And now he is back to run it again – this time raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund – which supported him during his rehabilitation.
Married Luke, who was a Senior Aircraftsman with the RAF Regiment, revealed he agreed to take on the epic race with just two weeks’ notice.
He said: “My goals are different for this one, I want to survive. I’m not focused on running the best times every single day, I just want to get to the end in one piece.
“When you’re doing this, you don’t know what country you’re in, what time zone, but it’s all irrelevant.
“All you’ve got to remember is you’ve got 168 hours to run 183.4 miles.
“What makes the World Marathon Challenge so hard is the travel, you’re traveling for 60 to 70 hours on a plane, through the week.
“My injury is lower leg, and my blood flow through to the leg is quite bad, so the flying and the traveling is really hard for me.
“I could end up with an elephant leg by the third day just from the flying.
“But if I can get to the end in one piece and shed some light on the RAF Benevolent Fund, then it will be mission accomplished.”
Luke believes the endurance challenge is the toughest of its kind out there, saying: “It’s physically horrendous, it's mentally tiring and it’s a logistical nightmare, but you just need to get to the end.
“I couldn’t let the opportunity pass, the first time was such a success, this time I want to do it for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
“They have had a huge, direct impact, on my life since my injury in 2011.
“If I can replicate what I did three years ago then why not, I’ll do it again.
“This is an opportunity to pay them back, I can only do these incredible challenges because of the rehab I received and the support from the charities along the way.”
In 2017 Luke, who served with the crack Special Forces Support Group, ran consecutive 26.2 mile races in Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Madrid, Marrakech, Dubai and Sydney, in less than a week.
This year the route starts in Antarctica before jetting to Cape Town, South Africa, Perth, Australia, Dubai, Asia, Madrid, Europe, Fortaleza, South America before ending in Miami, North America.
Luke aims to complete the challenge despite his leg being re-built two years ago to repair scar damage caused by the bomb blast.
posted Thursday February 6th
by David Willetts