Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Marine amputee's marathon pledge

Ben McBean training in April
Marine McBean will begin training just a week or two before the race

A Plymouth war hero who completed the London Marathon despite losing an arm and a leg in Afghanistan has vowed to do it again - but in a quicker time.

Royal Marine Ben McBean, injured in a landmine blast in 2008, was flown back to the UK at the same time as Prince Harry, who hailed him a "hero".

The 22-year-old wants to raise £15,000 for the Help for Heroes charity.

Despite admitting the race was "pure agony", he hopes to cut an hour off his 2009 time of six hours and 20 minutes.

He told BBC News he would give it his "best shot", although he will have to restrict his pre-race training because of his injuries.

'Millie' award

"I'll have to start training quite late, maybe mid-March, because the more training I do, the more skin rubs off and the more my leg gets sore," Marine McBean said.

"If I start with a really sore leg, I'm probably not going to finish it, so I'm best to do a few runs a week or two before and on the day give it my best shot."

In April, the brave marine's stump began to bleed almost as soon as he strapped on his special running blade prosthetic.

He said it was "pure agony from start to finish" and only the embarrassment of failing kept him going for the full 26.2 miles (42km).

Earlier this month, Marine McBean , was presented with the "Overcoming Adversity" award at the Sun Military Awards - the Millies - after becoming the first double amputee to complete the London Marathon.

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