Magnificent seven complete Lower Stondon eight-mile march with 15-kilo rucksacks

The crew: Harry Stone, Luke Fensome, Noel Loftman, Ian Comerford, Doug Park, Gadge Grocott and Mark

The crew: Harry Stone, Luke Fensome, Noel Loftman, Ian Comerford, Doug Park, Gadge Grocott and Mark Karls. - Credit: Archant

A golf club captain and his team of hardy souls beat the odds by completing an eight-mile march while carrying 15-kilo rucksacks in under two hours.

In a challenge which raised £3,350 for Help the Heroes – a charity helping British men and women who have been injured in British conflicts – Stotfold man Noel Loftman led his seven-strong team on a roundabout march from Mount Pleasant Golf Club in Lower Stondon.

But as is par for the course for the gents – containing two former golf club captains and this year’s vice-captain among them – they also managed to fit in nine holes at the club afterwards, with the assistance of much-needed caddies.

Noel, 53, said: “It was the toughest test I have ever endured.

“I did train using a pack but I didn’t plan on hiking over ploughed fields and running with 15 kilos on my back.

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“I was told to give up my pack a couple of times but no way was I going to. I had to complete the task as everything was riding on the squad finishing.

“I must of been the luckiest man alive when I picked the squad as we all work as a team to see no one was left behind. Even with blisters, knee and back injuries the squad refused to give up.

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“Luckily I had a bag of Haribo which gave a little sugar energy boost.

“We had great support from the golfers who respected our cause when marching on the course. On our way in, we ran up the ninth fairway to the club house to cheering supporters.

“We definitely needed the caddies for the nine holes of golf as most of us could hardly walk.

“I would also like to thank everyone that sponsored us and helped us during our quest.”

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