BLESMA and the Great South Run - Oct 28th 2007


Book Reviewer
Did'nt know there was a Great South Run, is that because we have a Great North Run up here and you lot wan't to copy us? Or are you talking about that London marathon thing? I don't know all the same to me.


Book Reviewer
GSR been going since 1990. Website here.

The Great South Run started life in Southampton - before being strategically stolen after just a year not far along the M27 motorway by Portsmouth City Council's very progressive leisure department.
( True to form - thievin' Pompey skates )

Dutchman Marti ten Kate was the winner of the inaugural event in 1990 on the 10-miles course, easily stifling the threat of British international Paul Davies-Hale when winning by 17 seconds in a time of 47:52.

The women's race was claimed by Alison Gooderham who surprised herself with a fast clocking of 56:09 as five women went under the one-hour barrier, including veteran Christine Benning, fifth in the 1984 Olympic 1500m final.

The Diet Coke Great South Run (as it was known then), after lobbying by enthusiastic Pompey council staff, then relocated to the present course which starts and finishes on Clarence Esplanade in Southsea but in between meanders through Old Portsmouth, the historic Naval Dockyard and the suburb of Eastney.
Ten miles rather than Half Marathon - and less of a cattle crush by all accounts. I think the entries closed in June but you might get a place with a charity if you fancy a go.

Perversly ,I'm looking fwd to it. Running for the same charity as Ventress ( The British Limbless ex-Servicemen's Association ) - but much less organised than he is ! :)

Don Cabra


Book Reviewer
some more on BLESMA......JustGiving page follows - PLEASE consider the price of a pint for this charity which does so much for our people.

From the day a British serviceman or woman loses a limb in the line of duty, their life changes forever and the physical and psychological effects are profound.

Thankfully, they are not left to cope alone. whether they are recent amputees starting to rebuild their lives, like Sgt major Andrew Stockton, or WW2 veterans dealing with disability in old age - BLESMA is there to help.

from counseling and rehabilitation to welfare grants and residential care, BLESMA looks after its Members at every stage of their lives.

BLESMA is committed to turning a difficult situation into positive experiences. the organisation pushes members to achieve even more in life than they might otherwise have done had they remained uninjured.

Sgt Major Andrew Stockton Royal Artillery , who lost his arm serving in Afghanistan.

How BLESMA helped Andrew on his road to rehabilitation .

11 June 2006: the day Andrew will never forget.

15 June 2006: Andrew receives hospital visit from BLESMA. he is given expert advice on medical discharge from the Armed Services and help with applications for war pensions and disability benefits.

July 2006: BLESMA helps Andrew to arrange specialist vehicle adaptations. later in the month BLESMA visit him at home to see his newly adapted vehicle and how he is coping with his new limb.

November 2006: Andrew takes part in a BLESMA rehabilitation week at the BLESMA home in Crieff, pushing himself to new limits and meeting new friends for life:

January 2007: Following the success of the activities week in Crieff, Andrew signs up for Amputees in Action, a specialist agency that supplies amputees as stunt extras for the film and tv industry.

Please help BLESMA to be there whenever they're needed.

ladies and gents BLESMA is just one of a raft of excellent causes....but if you, like me , feel that Andrew and many like him deserve our support, please visit either of our Justgiving pages and spare the price of a pint ( or even a night on the lash !)

( Go Ventress ! hope the training is ticking away....Denmead was good.)

Lee Shaver


Book Reviewer
< bump >

If anyone has the price of a pint of Guinness in their pocket - please head over to .

meanwhile, here's another short dit from a BLESMA member:

In May 1996 I plummeted 1,000 feet to the ground. I was taking part in a night time parachute drop exercise with 9 Para Sqn RE in America and my chute malfunctioned as I came down.

As I hit the ground my body broke up. It was touch and go as to whether I would survive. I spent the next 6 months in hospital having my back,legs,skull and pelvis put back together .

The next four years I was in constant pain because the fall had completely shattered my left ankle and leg. In December 2000 a decision was made to amputate beneath the knee.

So at the young age of 28 I had to retire early from the Army. As a Lance Corporal and due to my injuries I couldn't get any further promotion, but I wanted to remain active.

I heard about BLESMA through a mate who had lost a leg in Rwanda. He got in touch with BLESMA on my behalf. It has made all the difference to my life. You mix with people in the same situation, who understand how you feel and the pain you're in.

Being a member of BLESMA means you get the chance to prove yourself, despite being an amputee. Their rehabilitation activities give you the courage to tackle challenges you probably wouldn't without their support.

Twelve of our guys did the Atlantic Challenge race with BLESMA last year. To take part in such a physically challenging event shows the world what we can do, even though we have lost limbs
Thank you .

Le Chevre


Book Reviewer
< BUMP >

big thanks Spanish Dave and Panzer Soldat !! and as for the very generous Armchair Jihadi - wow, outstanding - good on yer!

roll up, roll up get your money on people.

( the odds on Goatman staggering around Portsmouth on Sunday before the 'hop-on' crew bus catching him up are longer than you think! )

a pint of Guinness is 2.60 hereabouts - if anyone on ARRSE can spare that for people at BLESMA please go to the Justgiving site ;

....and thank you so much !

Don Cabra :clap:


Book Reviewer
Thanks RFUK,

well it hacked down on 18,000 runners and blew a hooley to boot.....I didn't do last year's race so I'll have to take another runner's word for it that it was nastier this year......not only was the sea breaking over the road down by Clarence Pier but when we went past the Boating lake I swear there were breakers forming on it :D .....I think the spectators had the tougher deal if I'm honest.....slightly surprised that in the 'Charity Village ' at the finish there was not a single Service-related charity represented....maybe RBL will take some space next year, but I suspect that Great Run Inc are charging the charities an arm and a leg for tent-space so maybe not.

Many thanks to those who have sponsored me - and the page will stay open for a bit if anyone wants to donate.

hats off to:

> the Portsmouth Samba band for making me smile
> the Irish band ( Feckless) on Mountbatten Ave ditto
> the Gosport Ferry for getting me there in time for a cuppa at the Start
> the female double amputee running for CLIC- how could I stop ?
> the bunch of RLC chefs tabbing it with Bergens - good effort guys
> the mad lady outside the the RMA Arms with a saucepan
> the NHS paramedic who turned up for the casualty at Mile 9

Sorry I missed you Ventress - I did hang about the WM for a while trying to keep my hat on in the Force 6 , but most of the people there looked too fit to match your description :D

Hope you got round in a more respectable time than me!

Don Cabra


I would say last year was worse then this, by just a tad. Heavier rain for longer! Big up to all the drenched spectators.

Windy as hell along Eastney Bks front.

£800+ for BLESMA, so being a stiff as a w@nker's hanky is worth while!

(I was pleased the organisers had given us comedy Tags to match most of the scrotes in Pompey!)

See you all next year!


Book Reviewer
Just a last two pennyworth......the picture on my Justgiving site

was taken by Anastasia Taylor-Lind at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court in March this year for a BBC Radio 4 programme entitled 'Soldier's Haven '.

The lad in the shot was severely injured in Afghanistan late last year.

Within a week of receiving his new leg at Headley Court he was JOGGING on it. He was looking forward to going on leave from Headley Court at the end of the week - the most significant moment being when he walked through his mum's front door for the first time since he was casevaced. He is now back with his unit. The grit of these guys is unbelievable.

It is for that young man and others like him that BLESMA stand up, quietly there for ANYONE who has lost a limb in Service - and for whom we were REALLY running on Sunday.

Thanks to all who have given so generously - and , if you feel BLESMA are important, do please pop by one or other of our pages and make a donation however small.

Good on yer :D

Le Chevre
Thanks to all that supported BLESMA by sponsoring those that ran in the Great South Run. It is only through the support and generosity of such as you that we are able to continue our rehabilitation and welfare to these very deserving men and women. :D

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads