Soldiers’ charity trek in memory of Riley Plant

York Press: Sgt Marc Del-Valle and S Sgt Steve Wood, pictured in Malton, prepare for a charity fundraiser in aid The Smiley Riley fund. Sgt Marc Del-Valle and S Sgt Steve Wood, pictured in Malton, prepare for a charity fundraiser in aid The Smiley Riley fund.

TWO soldiers raising money in memory of Riley Plant, who died aged 21 months old after battling an incurable brain tumour, will take on the Hadrian’s Wall challenge.

Sgt Steve Wood and Sgt Marc Del-Valle, both currently serving soldiers at 2 Signal Regiment, in York, will tackle 69 miles in June to raise money for the Smiley Riley Fund.

Set up in 2012 following the death of Riley, who lived in York, the fund helps to pay living and travel costs for parents and carers whose children are undergoing chemotherapy.

For Steve, 37, who lives in Malton, this will be his second year of fundraising for the Smiley Riley fund, having completed the 100k Trailwalker event last year in just under 17 hours, raising almost £4,000 for the charity.

He said: “We get demanding physical training sessions every week, but we are doing our own running in our own time as well and we are trying to cover about 40 to 50 miles a week.

“Being military we are not averse to running long distances, but it is about raising money more than anything else.”

Together, the two friends will leave Carlisle Castle on June 21 and run almost non-stop to Gateshead Millennium Bridge, with the hope of covering the distance in about 15 hours.

Through bag pack events the pair have so far raised just more than £1,000 and Steve said local businesses in Malton have been incredibly supportive of their challenge.

“Four banks and one pub are displaying charity boxes and posters for me but we think that we could raise another £1,000 between us,” he said.

“If we could make it to £2,000 that would be great.”

To sponsor Steve and Marc, visit thesmileyrileyfund.co.uk

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