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The Pilgrim Bandits ran miles to Gravesend carrying a 200lb log to raise money for wounded soldiers

It is the fifth year that John Bull has organised the event, which raises money for the charity Pilgrim Bandits.

They set off from Strood at 10am on Saturday and arrived in Gravesend at around 1.30pm, when they were met by D-Day veterans, serving soldiers and army cadets.

Fundraising runners the Pilgrim Bandits, in white shirts, at the end of their run from Strood to Gordon Promenade, Gravesend, with supporters and veterans. Veterans Philip Hubert, of Royal Navy Landing Craft, left, and Joe Hoadley, 49th Reconnaissance Corps.

Fundraising runners the Pilgrim Bandits, in white shirts, at the end of their run from Strood to Gordon Promenade, Gravesend, with supporters and veterans. Veterans Philip Hubert, of Royal Navy Landing Craft, left, and Joe Hoadley, 49th Reconnaissance Corps.

Mr Bull said: “The route changed this year and Thong Lane was quite steep but we all know what we’re doing so we just get on and do it.

“There are three people carrying and five not carrying, and they change on the run. I run at the back to pick up anyone who starts to drop back. Once we’re going, there’s no stopping.”

To make sure he’s not shirking any responsibilities, Mr Bull runs with a 60lb backpack, although this year it could have been a lot heavier if he had not noticed one of the guys had jokingly added a concrete block to his load.

The group’s arrival at Gordon Promenade – where the 170th Gravesend Town Regatta was taking place – was heralded with a flypast by a Mark 1 Spitfire, the cost of which was funded by local businesses TJ’s pub, Ebbsfleet Printing Solutions, Fast Labour Solutions and G&M Motors.

“They do more than what the normal man in the street would do. It’s brilliant"- Mr Bull.

Pilgrim Bandits was established by a small group of special forces veterans in 2007 with the aim of using their training and experience to help wounded soldiers to live life to the full.

Mr Bull said: “They get them out of their wheelchairs and they go away climbing, kayaking, skiing, parachuting.

This year the charity supported a team of veterans as they kayaked 500 miles along the Yukon river in America, and later this year they are taking soldiers kayaking in Greenland.

This year’s log-run raised nearly £3,000.

 

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