Staff Sergeant Daniel Coleman of 4 Armoured Close Support Battalion REME, from 10 Armoured Company, will run for 48 hours around a running track in Tidworth, Wiltshire, to raise awareness of the mental health issues that can affect serving personnel and veterans. At the same time, his gruelling challenge will raise funds for us and The REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) Charity.
The challenge at Tidworth Oval athletics track will begin at 1pm Monday 28 March and end at 1pm Wednesday 30 March. SSgt Coleman will stop only for food and comfort breaks as he attempts to complete a staggering 200 miles round the 400m track during this time. In order to achieve this gruelling target, he will have to complete over 800 laps while battling with sleep deprivation, which could potentially include extreme fatigue and hallucinations.
SSgt Coleman, stationed at Tidworth Garrison, said: “My reasons for taking on this challenge are to help raise awareness of the mental health issues that affect both serving personnel and veterans, and also to raise much needed funds for those affected to be able to get the mental health support they need and deserve.
“My challenge is a bit of an extreme one...As a trail runner I do enjoy a long-distance run, but I’m ditching the trails for a running track and attempting what I think will be possibly the worst thing I could dream up - 48 hours round and round the track to complete as many laps as possible. I may have company but only my laps will count.
“I am setting a target of completing as close to 200 miles as possible. I will be running continuously with no sleep and only stopping for food and any minor issues that will inevitably need sorting.”
Robert Marsh, Director of Fundraising at Combat Stress, said: “We are incredibly grateful to SSgt Dan Coleman for taking on such a gruelling endurance challenge. To complete 200 miles is an incredible feat, but to do so in just 48 hours with no sleep is truly staggering.
“I am confident that his efforts will inspire others to do their bit to support those in the military community with mental health problems.”
Babs Harris, CEO of The REME Charity, said: “We are immensely grateful for Dan’s brave effort. It hugely supports our awareness raising work and prompts people to think and talk about their mental health.
“The Corps’ own mental health initiative ‘Lifting the Decks’ has already had an impact on how we acknowledge and meet issues within the REME Family, serving personnel, veterans and families alike. Dan is helping us to spread the word even further.”
SSgt Coleman hopes to raise over £2,500 from his arduous challenge. To support him, visit: https://events.combatstress.org.uk/fundraisers/danielcoleman