Gruelling run forms fitting tribute to memory of Royal Marine

7:20am Monday 30th December 2013

By Emily Flanagan

A GRUELLING endurance run staged at the weekend was organised by two Royal Marines in memory of a comrade killed in Afghanistan.

Christiaan Creaby and Michael Anderson held the inaugural Jonny Crookes Endurance Run on Roomer Common near Masham, North Yorkshire, on Saturday (December 28).

It was held in memory of their friend, marine Jonathan Crookes, 26, from Halesowen in the West Midlands, who was a reservist in 40 Commando Royal Marines.

He was killed in an explosion whilst on foot patrol in Afghanistan in July 2010.

Mr Creaby, from Leeds, said the tough, battle-field type challenge was a fitting tribute to their friend as well as raising money for the Royal Marines Benevolent Fund

“He was head and shoulders above everyone else in fitness; he was a bit of a legend in the Royal Marines for it. But he would always help everyone else.

"He set up his own training to help the others. It was his birthday on Christmas Day and that’s why we held it now.

“If someone had asked him how he would like to be remembered, I’m sure he would approve of an endurance run in his memory.”

The eight mile route recreated battle-field type training and had to be completed with competitors acting as a team.

They had to drag mock casualties away from a battle field, recreated with thunder flashes to simulate gun fire and test their endurance against a multitude of challenges.

Mr Creaby, who runs Peak Military Fitness, said: “It was a very hard course, probably mentally rather than physically.

"We put a lot of pressure on them. People got cold pretty quickly as they went through the sheep-dip at the beginning.

"We dunked their heads under the water then they came out the other side they had to crawl through what was basically cow manure.

“This is the first year we’ve done this, but we hope to do it every year now.”

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