A FIREFIGHTER is marking his 20th anniversary of fundraising by running almost 200 miles.

Malton watch manager Justin Rowe and fellow firefighter Terrance Gregg, from York fire station, are planning to run 12 marathons from York to Chivenor in North Devon, starting next week.

The pair, who are both former soldiers, are raising funds for the Veterans In Action charity, supporting military veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and helping to end the stigma of mental health issues.

Justin said they would be marking the 20th anniversary of his fundraising setting off next Tuesday, May 30, and aimed to reach Devon in 12 days.

“We are self-supporting with no support team,” he said.

“We will carry everything we need by pulling/running with a specially-adapted lightweight trailer, kindly supplied by Burley, Oregon USA, and will be sleeping in fire stations and camp sites along the route.”

Last year Justin was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community and to charity in Malton.

He started long-distance running in 1997 and among the many runs he has completed since was a seven-day, 360-mile run round New York, running to all 252 fire houses in the five boroughs. “I am supporting Veterans In Action, after visiting their headquarters in Andover last year during an open day,” he said.

“I was very impressed with the dedication and support they offer to ex-military veterans suffering from PTSD, helping to stop the stigma of mental illness and with the transition from military life to civilian


“Part of my mission is also to raise awareness of PTSD and mental illness within the emergency services.

“With more than 20 years operational experience in the fire service its an issue I also believe needs to be recognised.

“The run is part of my preparation to run unsupported along the 2,535 mile Atlantic Coast Cycle Path USA.

“I will be starting in Bar Harbour, Maine, and finishing 16 weeks later in Key West Florida during 2019.

“I will be supporting Allied Forces Foundation, headed up by a good friend Stuart Taylor.”

To make a donation, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/296