This Sunday’s Edinburgh marathon will feature runners from all around the UK, among them Nottingham girl Katie Handley.
She will be running solo, having originally intended to run with her husband Damien, who hails from Worksop.
But Damien, a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF, now can’t take part – because he’s been redeployed back to Afghanistan on active duty.
So Katie, 31, also a Flight Lieutenant, will be running for them both and raising money for Combat Stress, a charity that helps ex-service people with mental health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“This year has shown a 57 per cent increase in the number of Afghan veterans suffering with PTSD, so it is more important than ever that awareness of this condition is raised and the stigma attached to it is lost,” said Katie.
“My husband is currently serving on his second tour of Afghanistan and he has also completed two tours in Iraq.”
“He was due to run the marathon for Combat Stress as well but then was deployed, so I am running for him and with all current and ex-forces personnel in my mind.”
The pair are based at RAF Honington and Katie has had to combine training with being a full-time mum to their little girl Hope.
“Training has been difficult as we have a one year-old daughter but before Damien went away, he bought me a running buggy, so now Hope comes with me when I train,” she continued.
“I’ve run the London marathon before but this will be the first time I’ve taken part in the Edinburgh event.”
“Any support people can offer is hugely appreciated as it is vital that people understand the challenges that a soldier faces when he returns home.”
To support Katie, go to her justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/katiehandley