Soldier from Kineton completes an amazing 26 marathons in 26 days in an emotional finish

As he made it to the finishing line, he was welcomed by banners, blue lights and a small crowd as he crossed the finished line

A soldier from Kineton has completed an amazing 26 marathons in 26 days.

Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Si Hannaford gave it his all as he completed the final few miles of his 26 marathons in 26 days at Marlborough Barracks near Kineton on Tuesday May 26.

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In response to the 2.6 challenge, which is a call out to the population to help support and save the UK charities, Si took it a few steps further and set himself the challenge of running 26 miles (a marathon) a day for 26 days.

Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Si Hannaford crosses the line, into the waiting arms of his family. Photo by Cpl Paul Watson RLC Photographer, Crown Copyright 2020.

He started on the May 1 in his back garden on a treadmill whilst isolating at home with his wife and four children.

He wanted to engage with as many people as possible and raise as much money as he could so even live streamed his challenge on YouTube.

As the days passed by Si thrived on the comments and encouragement which came from those watching him.

Si set himself the challenge to raise money for the NHS and a charity close to his heart, the Felix Fund.

Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Si Hannaford crosses the line. Photo by Cpl Paul Watson RLC Photographer, Crown Copyright 2020.

He said: “When I first started this challenge I never truly understood the degree at which this would impact on my body or my mental state, it is through sheer determination and the ongoing support of my family and friends that I have managed to get myself back on the treadmill every day.

"In a weird way, it’s given me a sense of understanding as to the pressures, mentally and physically, that our NHS staff have been going through.”

To mark his achievement DEMS Regiment arranged for Si to complete the final element of his marathon at the Kineton depot near to where he lives and could be cheered on by his Regiment, friends and colleagues in line with government social distancing guidance.

Si began his final leg as he had done so far, at home in his garden. With a few metres to go before the end, he then set off towards MOD Kineton.

Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Si Hannaford gets much-needed liquid refreshment during his running. Photo by Cpl Paul Watson RLC Photographer, Crown Copyright 2020.

He ran from his home before entering camp heading towards the finish line. He was encouraged by members from the Regiment lining the route.

As Si made it to the finishing line, he was welcomed by banners, blue lights and a small crowd as he crossed the finished line which was being held by the new bomb disposal robot – STARTER.

“The challenge was enormous,” said Si.

“But I am so proud of my achievements and very grateful to everyone that has supported me, it’s been fantastic.”

Si has managed to raise 62 per cent of his target amount for the NHS and 67 per cent of his target amount for the Felix Fund but is hopeful of hitting 100 per cent for both with the support of the Army and the community.