A Littlehampton man has run from Brighton pier to Worthing pier in aid of the charity Run For Child Poverty.
Completing the 11-mile journey might seem like enough of challenge, but Joe Pattrick did it with a 50lb rucksack on his back on Saturday.
The 38-year-old said he set off at 8am and expected to arrive at 12.30pm, but did the journey in two hours, 20 minutes. He described the experience as ‘absolutely fantastic’. He said: “It was hard – don’t get me wrong; 50lbs of weight was hellish.
“But there wasn’t a point when I thought I wouldn’t make it.”
He has raised £650 for the charity so far, and the money will go towards building housing ‘to keep children off the street in Uganda’.
As a father, he said it was a cause close to his heart, adding: “Children should never pay for the mistakes we adults make.”
Joe previously worked as a bodyguard for a private military contractor, both in the UK and around the world.
His job involved working in counter terrorism units and protecting a foreign princess and her family, and he also had a secondary role as a medic in the organisation.
But after 10 years, his career ended ‘overnight’.
He suffered an injury in a ‘silly fall’ and subsequently discovered he had a spine condition, which meant he would no longer pass the stringent medical tests required for the job.
For the last five years, Joe has battled with PTSD and his mental health.
But he said getting more into fitness had helped him to recover.
On his decision to take on the pier to pier challenge, he said: “I wanted to push myself and do something I didn’t know if I could do.
“I want to say a massive thank you to everybody that has supported me and to my friend Darren who was my support runner.”
He gave advice for wannabe fundraisers.
He said: “I would say if anybody has anything they want to do to make a difference, do it.
“You don’t know what you are capable of until you try.”