Bomb disposal expert based at Kineton has sights set on world record and massive fundraising target as part of 1,754-mile endurance challenge

Soldier Si Hannaford will attempt to run the first mile of the mamouth challenge in under seven minutes and 24 seconds while wearing a bomb disposal suit weighing almost 36kg to break the record

Friday, 30th April 2021, 5:41 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 5:42 pm
Soldier Si Hannaford.

A Kineton-based soldier is aiming to raise £100,000 for two charities by running, cycling and swimming 1,754 miles in just 26 days.

Si Hannaford is taking on the mammoth challenge to swim 21miles - the length of the British channel - then cycle 1,000-miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats and finally run 733-miles from John O’Groats back to Bicester.

And a standout part of the challenge will involve him running the first first mile while wearing a full bomb disposal suit - weighing 35.8kg or 5.6 stone - in an attempt to neat the world record of seven minutes and 24 seconds, which was set by a British Army Solider in 2017.

A standout part of the challenge will involve Si running the first first mile while wearing a full bomb disposal suit (pictured) - weighing 35.8kg or 5.6 stone - in an attempt to break the world record of seven minutes and 24 seconds, which was set by a British Army Solider in 2017.

Si, is urging people to sign-up and follow his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/SiHannaford - he needs 1,000 followers so he can broadcast it live from his mobile phone.

The father-of-four, who has been training five hours a day, will set off on June 1 and plans to complete the challenge by June 26.

It means he will have to cycle 100 miles a day and run 54 miles a day to meet the target. During the challenge, on June 5, he will also celebrate his 43rd birthday.

Two charities are set to share what Si hopes will be a £100,000 fund raising pot.

These are the Hummingbird Centre, a cancer support center based in Launton, near Bicester where Si if from and the Felix Fund which supports soldiers, sailors, airmen and SO15 Police with the impact of their work in bomb disposal and search.

Si said: “It will be tough emotionally and physically, but it’s not impossible and I’m determined to complete this challenge.

"I would not say I’m super fit – I would say I’m above average, but I believe it’s all in the mind - I’ve got strong willpower and I’m quite stubborn.

“I feel in a small way this challenge relates to the charities I am supporting.

"In my mind people who are being supported by these charities are facing much bigger challenges and these will at times seem impossible to deal with.

“Two years ago, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and thankfully she had her operation before the pandemic, but she did struggle emotionally.

"At the time she would have benefited greatly by somewhere like the Hummingbird Centre which could have supported her through that period in her life.

“There must be thousands of people in and around Bicester who have either been diagnosed with cancer or will be in the future and I believe it’s so important to have this facility available, free for everyone that may need it.”

Diane Mbangwa, for the Hummingbird Centre, said: “We are delighted Si has chosen the Hummingbird Centre as one of his charities, we wish him every success in his challenge.”

Last year, Si ran 26 marathons in 26 days on a treadmill and raised £4,000 for the NHS and Felix Fund, which supported him after tours of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

To sponsor Si visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simonhannafordhttps://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simonhannaford