Baz runs 80 miles to help marines

Thursday 18th June 2020 8:00 am
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Baz Gray. Picture by Jason Howard Photography.

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ENDURANCE athlete, explorer and former Royal Marine Baz Gray ran 80-miles in just under 17 hours for the Royal Marines Charity last Sunday (June 14).

Baz, from Crapstone, is no stranger to extreme challenges — completing a solo trek to the South Pole last year which was phase one of his huge physical task ‘Challenge Antarctica’. Phase two of this challenge will see Baz attempt to cross the entire Antarctic continent from coast to coast, unsupported and unassisted in November 2021.

Baz, who was a Royal Marine for 26 years, takes on ‘smaller’ challenges each year to keep him mentally and physically prepared for his extreme challenges, as well as raise money for a charity or two along the way. The 80-mile challenge saw Baz follow a 27-mile circuit from the London Inn car park at Horrabridge, to Princetown, Nuns Cross over to Meavy, Crapstone and back to Horrabridge.

He started at 2am and finished ahead of schedule in 16 hours and 45 minutes where he was greeted by a large reception of local residents and serving and former military men and women in the London Inn car park.

Baz chose to undertake the ‘commando 80 miler’ as the British Commandos celebrate its 80th anniversary this month. Baz felt that the best way to honour the date — and raise money for the Royal Marines Charity — was to complete an endurance challenge in its honour.

He said: ‘I love the Royal Marines and as it was the 80th anniversary of the British Commandos formation I thought it would be a good idea to do something for this and raise money for the Royal Marines Charity by completing a long endurance race.

‘We pulled in nearly £3,000 and I am really chuffed.’

Along his route, Baz was joined by supporters, whether they were cheering from their vehicles or running alongside, he was hardly alone.

‘People were out for the 16 hours.

‘I did about a third on my own but at times I had people running with me. For most of the last lap I had around 15 to 20 people running with me.

‘When I finished I came back to the London Inn car park to people clapping and cheering — the Horrabridge community is one close to my heart.’

Baz added: ‘I will be planning something this winter in order to stay focused and in shape [for Challenge Antarctica].’

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