By Lee Kettle: A former Royal Marine is hoping to offer an alternative Remembrance weekend event by setting a world record.
Lee Riley, who supported Special Forces through the United Kingdom Landing Force Support Group (UKLFSG) for seven years, will be aiming to run the fastest mile in the world with a 40lb pack on his back to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
Lee, who has already set two world records for running with his pack in both the London Half Marathon and Marathon this year, believes he has what it takes to smash the current record, which stands at five minutes 35 seconds.
“This is by far the hardest world record I’ve tried to smash, because it’s at a much shorter distance than the others,” he said. “But I’ve been training hard for 14 months, and running is something that excites me.
“I first looked at setting a world record as a dream, but my confidence has grown and I feel physically capable of achieving my dream now.”
Lee, from Willaston, Nantwich, started his armed forces career at 16-years-old, straight after finishing high school.
He entered the army before realising it wasn’t for him and then was transferred to the Royal Marines after passing through a training course.
From there followed a seven-year journey working alongside Special Forces in countries such as Norway and Greece.
The 29-year-old, who now works as a motivational speaker and athlete, told StaffsLive: “Most of my career was training orientated and I loved working with the forces – they were some of the best years of my life.
“I left realising I’d done what I needed to do and I now feel I want to give something back.”
The world record attempt, which Lee hopes will raise at least £1,000 for the Royal British Legion, will take place at 9am tomorrow (November 12) at The Cumberland Sports Centre, Crewe.
The day will be a special occasion for Lee, as it also falls on his 30th birthday.
He said: “It’s going to be different to your usual Remembrance event, but it will serve the same purpose of raising awareness and money to thank all the current and former soldiers in the forces.”
All donations towards the Royal British Legion can be given during the event.