A GROUP of former Green Howards soldiers will tackle the Great North Run later this year, dressed in full army kit and wearing weighted backpacks.

The group of nine serving and veteran soldiers, all in their late 40s and early 50s, are taking on the challenge to raise money for the Royal British Legion in the 100th year anniversary of the First World War.

The members of the Yorkshire Regiment Association of Middlesbrough will be 'tabbing' – tactical advance to battle – during the event, which is a type of power march.

They will be carrying 30 lb of weight, infantry-style, and wearing boots and combats.

The group are repeating their efforts from 25 years ago when they completed the event in two hours and 22 minutes.

Team Captain Sgt Ronnie Sawdon, 51 and from Darlington, said: "We may have aged, our bellies may be fuller, but with strength of heart, character, determination, and of course heaps of 'squaddie banter' along the way, we'll 'tab' our hearts out for this wonderful cause.

"We're aiming to do it in less than three hours as we are a bit older this time but we'll see if we can do that."

He added: "We choose the Royal British Legion as our chosen charity for this event as it is a welfare lifeline for veterans of HM Armed Forces, also for those serving and their families alike. "Whether it be an ex-serviceman falling on hard times and needs financial help or maybe getting somebody back into regular employment through providing funding for courses. The RBL has so much to offer those who have served their country including long and short term residential care homes, activity breaks for children or rehabilitation programmes and personalised support to veterans and their families."

The Yorkshire Regiment Association is a way for former servicemen to get together for social events as well as formal meetings. There are battlefield tours, trips to the races and regimental dinners, and 40 – including the nine doing the Great North Run – will march through Whitehall in London on Remembrance Sunday for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

To sponsor the team, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/yorkshireregimentassociation