Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 11:31 UK

Para runs marathon in Afghanistan

Major Al Jarvis running in Afganistan wearing his Osprey body armour
Maj Jarvis ran wearing body armour weighing about 10kg

A British para and commando-trained soldier has completed the London Marathon in his body armour - but at a military base in Afghanistan.

Maj Al Jarvis, 33, of the Royal Engineers, arrived in Helmand last month for a six-month tour.

Maj Jarvis, of Farnborough, Hampshire, ran 38 circuits of the tiny base in Lashkar Gah in just over six hours. He began at 0500 to avoid intense sun.

He estimates he has raised nearly 1,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund.

Troops from 23 Engineer Regiment were on hand with collecting tins and to keep up his morale.

His body armour weighed about 10kg.

Maj Jarvis said: "I'm really pleased to have finished the course, it was quite tough going at times but I pushed through.

"Thanks to everyone who supported me and who gave money. Altogether I've raised nearly 1,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund who do fantastic work.

"All of us out here are doing a job we have chosen to do and we accept the consequences.

Major Al Jarvis completing the marathon in Afghanistan
Maj Jarvis completed the marathon in just over six hours

"We have trained hard and are prepared for the worst as were others in past conflicts.

"No amount of money can bring back a daddy, husband, daughter or a limb, but the Army Benevolent Fund helps to give some financial stability to families in times of distress.

"I'll be celebrating my finish with the lads, but no champagne because there's no alcohol allowed on military bases here."

Maj Jarvis's regiment is part of the UK's 16 Air Assault Brigade, which took command of the British Task Force in Helmand this week.




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