Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Sunday, 3 May 2009 12:48 UK

Major on eighth day of Marathon

Major Phil Packer reaching the halfway mark
Maj Phil Packer hopes to cross the finish line next weekend

An injured soldier who is walking two miles a day said he was "a little bit sore" but "absolutely delighted" on his eighth day of the London Marathon.

Maj Phil Packer of the Royal Military Police, who lost the use of his legs in a rocket attack in Iraq, began the race with 35,000 others last Sunday.

He told the BBC public support gives him the "boost" to walk on every day.

Maj Packer, who hopes to raise £1m for soldiers' charity Help For Heroes, aims to cross the finish line next weekend.

The officer, 36, who lives in Westminster, central London, passed the marathon's half-way mark on Saturday.

As he reached the landmark, he met some Beefeaters from the Tower of London while crossing Tower Bridge.

You can feel a little bit low and its quite difficult at times and people coming up to you is a real and the biggest boost
Maj Phil Packer

Maj Packer said: "I'm a little bit sore and I haven't walked two miles before last Sunday, so it's taking a bit of getting used to.

"Its been a long year but I think I've been very fortunate, very lucky, to have got the mobility back, now that I have, and it's making the most of it that really matters."

Following the horrific injuries he sustained in Basra in February 2008, doctors doubted whether the soldier would ever walk again.

He suffered a bruised heart and damage to his ribs and chest, and lost the motor and sensory use of his legs.

'Fantastic cause'

"Medically they said not to walk more than two miles a day and I've stuck to that completely, but I think it's a fantastic cause, a great charity, and I know first-hand how much that support is needed."

Describing the first day, Maj Packer said: "It took me pretty much all day as I hadn't walked that much before and it took me time to judge it and to take it easy.

"But throughout the week I sort of learnt it's more comfortable for me to go as quickly as possible really for a couple of hours in the morning, and then a few more after quite a big break in the afternoon.

"You can feel a little bit low, and it's quite difficult at times, and people coming up to you is a real and the biggest boost."

In February Maj Packer rowed the English Channel in about 15 hours.



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