Ex-soldier Lee Wines is aiming to raise thousands of pounds for a children’s charity by taking part in the 2018 Hastings Half Marathon – with 40lb strapped to his back!

Now an assistant site manager with Bovis Homes, he will haul the equivalent in weight of a five-gallon office water cooler bottle filled up to the brim, around the testing 13.1-mile course on Sunday, 18 March.

The former Lance Corporal, who fought for Queen and country on three tours of Iraq during eight years in the Armed Forces, is looking to attract £5,000 in sponsorship for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

“It will be a little bit like some of the exercises I used to do in the Army, but while I’m reasonably fit, I’ve not done anything quite like this for 10 years!” explained Lee.

“I’m carrying the weight to really test myself and, hopefully, it might persuade one or two more people to pledge money to support a fantastic charity. The first seven miles at Hastings are uphill so it’s not going to be easy, but I’m determined to finish, even if I have to power walk and jog some of the way.”

Lee, who works at a Bovis’ Homes location near his home in Cheltenham, said the Starlight Children’s Foundation was an organisation close to his heart. The London-based charity is dedicated to brightening the lives of children and teenagers suffering from a serious or terminal illness.

“Becoming a dad last year brought home to me how I’d feel if my child was sick and underlined the importance of the Starlight Children’s Foundation in giving support to children and their families,” said Lee, who is originally from London.

“It performs a vital role in providing entertainment to children in hospital and making their dreams come true by taking them on special days out.”

If you would like to sponsor Lee, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lee-wines