TWO friends have raised more than £1,500 for charity by running from London to Paris.

Chris Brown and Aaron Russell, both Warrant Officers in the Army, ran 163 miles over six days in support of War Child and The Mental Health Foundation.

Aaron, who is based at Imphal Barracks in York, and Chris took part in the run without any support, starting at Marble Arch on July 27 and ending at the Eiffel Tower on Wednesday, August 1.

The pair carried all the equipment they needed, including tents, changes of clothes and sleeping bags, bought food en route, and slept wherever they could pitch a tent.

Aaron said: “Understanding the impact war has on adults, as we all too well see in the news, the impact on children must be immeasurable. Those psychological wounds may never heal, however, we can look to make their lives a little better through the work War Child does. After all they are the most innocent of people in times of conflict.”

Aaron said the trip started well, but the “amazing 30-plus degree sunshine” did not last long.

He said: “Sun lasted about nine miles, then we hit horrendous rain and thunderstorms. We were sodden, which caused our feet to tear up as water was literally running over our trainers. This lasted for about 15 miles; the final few miles were long and cold.”

On day two, the pair had planned to “get breakfast on the move”, but found no open shops for 17 miles and began to run out of water while climbing more than 2,000 feet, in what Aaron called “the most physically demanding day”.

The most mentally draining day was day three, Dieppe Ferry Port to Buchy, with little sleep, rain and broken trainers among the pair’s problems.

Aaron said: “All this should’ve been enough to break us anyway, but due to poor weather for a few days our solar chargers hadn’t worked. This meant our devices soon ran out of power, then making a wrong turn.

“Fortunately we had just enough to get google maps up and reroute, as close to the E915 as possible, we headed for Serqueux, a few miles longer but on track. Today we both felt like quitting, but the fact we had that choice, a choice those in our charities don’t, spurred us on.”

Day four was fresher but heavy showers caused pain to both runners, who slept next to the road that night, before they were “both physically screaming” by the time they saw Paris and the Eiffel Tower on the horizon.

The final day “dragged and dragged”, with the promise of beer and pizza before taking the Eurostar back to the UK.

Aaron said: “The feeling as we ran up to the Arc dodging the crazy drivers on the roundabout to the finish line was something that will stay with me for life.”

“The challenge brought us even closer; we saw each other in the hurt locker and helped each other out of it.”

Donations are still open at and