Richie and Mark Smash their Commando Challenge


Royal Marine Richie Puttock and former Royal Marine Mark Williams are not afraid of putting themselves to the test.  

Last year they cycled 350 miles in 12 hours to raise funds for the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation and on Saturday they took on a 46 Mile Challenge at Sainsbury's in Ferndown.  As if 46 miles wasn't enough they also carried 40 lb of kit and a rifle (not a real one)!

Why 46 miles?  Well the final Commando Test is a 30 mile speed march across Dartmoor which must be completed in 8 hours carrying 40lb of kit and a riffle.  The other Commando Tests include an Endurance Course which is a 2 mile cross country and then a 4 mile run which has to be completed in under 73 minutes.  The 9 Mile Speed March has a time limit of 90 minutes and the Tarzan Assault Course has to be completed in 13 minutes.  The total distance of all the tests is almost 46 miles and Richie and Mark completed the distance on treadmills in under 9 hours!  An incredible achievement by this formidable duo.  They burned over 11,000 calories during the challenge and took over 88,000 steps!

 46 miler Anthony and Jack

46 miler Anthony and Jack

Richie and Mark didn't know John Thornton, but as fellow marines they have been supporting the JTYAF for several years and have now raised an incredible £12,200 in John's memory.  They also had the support of veteran Royal Marine Jack Bellows and Anthony who is a Royal Marine Recruit in training, so the event at Sainsbury's was almost a Corps affair!


Sainsbury's Ferndown has also been a great supporter of the JTYAF for many years and Sue Blundell, their Charities Manager, worked extremely hard to ensure that Richie and Mark had everything that they needed for the challenge.  The shoppers had a bit of a surprise when they saw these two young men on treadmills in the middle of the store but they showed their support with incredible generosity donating a massive £2127.80 in collecting tins!

The JTYAF would like to thank Richie and  Mark for their constant support which has made such a difference to the continued success of the JTYAF.  Thanks must also go to Sainsbury's Ferndown, Sue Blundell, all the volunteers who helped out on the day, Bodyshocker for supplying Richie and Mark's sports supplements and all the shoppers who donated so generously.  £2127 will provide some great opportunities for local young people.