Plymouth's runner fundraising mission

HMS Raleigh’s physiotherapist, Cherry Powell, is on a mission to raise £2,000 to secure her place in this year’s London marathon.

The 55-year-old runner is one of five chosen to run for Walking with the Wounded; a charity that supports Armed Forces veterans and their families.

She said:  “Working at Raleigh with the military, I see the difficulties some people can face returning to civvy street and the charity helps people on their way.  I’m also a veteran myself; I was in the Royal Air Force, so veterans’ charities are close to my heart.  I was absolutely delighted when I got the email to say I’d been given a place in the marathon.  I’ve tried to enter through the ballot before so to get a place and be a member of such a small group, I feel quite privileged.”

Cherry, who is a member of the Plymouth Musketeers running club, is no stranger to long distance running.  She has completed eight marathons, the last one being the Giants Head, a challenging, hilly, off road run, held in Dorset last year. This will be Cherry’s first attempt at the London Marathon.

My very first marathon was when I was in my 30s. I completed it in 3:43, but I’m obviously a bit older now and don’t achieve those times anymore. I’m aiming for 4:30 to 4:45 in the London marathon, but I’ll just have to see how it goes on the day.

HMS Raleigh’s physiotherapist, Cherry Powell

Cherry has a number of fund-raising ideas to make sure she meets the target set by the charity.  She has a coffee morning planned within Raleigh next month, as well as a bric-a-brac sale and cakes at her local church, Trinity Hall, in Tor Lane, Plymouth, on 29 February, which starts at 11.30.  Cherry is also selling football scratch cards and has set-up an online donation page – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CherryPowell

As well as work and her fund-raising Cherry is focussed on her training.  She said:  “My training is going really well.  I had a blip over Christmas when I had the lurgy, but I’m back to running four times a week, doing some tempo runs and then a long run.  I haven’t picked up any injuries so far and I’m on track.”

Looking for a new career after the RAF, Cherry studied for a sports science degree and then decided to specialise as a physiotherapist.  She has worked as a civilian at HMS Raleigh since 2008.

Cherry said:  “I realised also immediately that being a physio was the job for me and I haven’t looked back.  I love working at Raleigh.  Having the young recruits and the older Ship’s Company at Raleigh, means I get patients from all backgrounds and I also get a variety of injuries, which makes the job more interesting.”