Injured soldier from Hove to run London Marathon

A soldier who was seriously injured in a grenade attack in Afghanistan is to run the London Marathon to raise money for other veterans injured while fighting for their country.

Athletes in the 2008 London Marathon

Athletes in the 2008 London Marathon

Phil Fanthome, 24, of The Drive in Hove, was seriously injured in the rocket-propelled grenade attack in 2006.

He broke all the bones in the right side of his body, had shrapnel damage to his right leg and abdomen.

But he is now almost completely recovered and spends his spare time raising money for the charities which helped him get better.

Mr Fanthome, who has recently been medically discharged from the Army, said: “The worst injury was to my right arm, which left my right hand paralysed.

“At the time, I was told my arm would be amputated, but it wasn’t. I suppose I just got better through determination.”

He has set a minimum target of £4,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund, which gives financial and practical support to soldiers and their families.

He has already raised £1,200, but in order to meet his target he is also doing the UK three-peak challenge, for which he has to climb the three highest mountains in the UK in just 24 hours, and a skydive with the Red Devils.

He is training hard and is determined to finish the marathon on April 26.

Mr Fanthome said: “I go running all the time. I’m running 15 miles at the moment, but I have got a couple of weeks left to get it up to about 22 miles. I know I’ll finish it, but I don’t want to say what my time will be.”

This is the first time he will be running the London Marathon, but it is not the first challenge he has set himself. He said: “This year I cycled 360 miles through the battlefields of France, raising £2,000 for Help for Heroes.

“I’ve just got better and I’m setting myself challenges. I used to be very active and this has kept me sane and given me something to focus on. But the main reason I am doing it is to raise money.”

To sponsor Mr Fanthome, go to his Just Giving website at www.justgiving.com/pfant2009.

This story was originally published by the Argus newspaper on April 1 and can be viewed online here.
Picture courtesy of klbw on Flickr under a creative commons licence
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