AN ARMY veteran who suffered life changing injuries is determined that it would not hold him back and now he is preparing to take on his first marathon.

Richard Webb, aged 32, had his left leg removed above the knee 18 months after he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on tour in Afghanistan in 2012.

He was on patrol when an IED was discovered, but unfortunately another was found, with Richard and his friend caught in the blast.

“I was able to stand up and run to my friend to give him first aid to treat him, my adrenaline wore off once I had done first aid and we were flown by helicopter back to Camp Bastion.”

Seven years on, the now father-of-two from Andover, will be competing in the United States Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC, USA, this October.

Despite efforts to save his left leg, doctors were forced to remove Richard’s leg and he has undergone rehabilitation at Headley Court Military Hospital, in Epsom – where thoughts of competing in the marathon were sparked.

“A friend of mine who I met during by time at Headley Court has been running it [the marathon] in Washington and has been raising money for various different charities,” Richard said.

“I looked into it and thought it was a good opportunity to raise awareness and funds for a charity which helps with mental health during the transition from military to civilian life.”

He will be raising money for All Call Signs, which also offer an extra platform for when ex-military or serving personnel go missing.

“I am able to raise a lot of awareness [for the charity] because of the sheer size of the marathon itself.”

Richard only decided to undertake the race a month ago and also already been putting in the hours at the gym to make sure he is ready.

“Fortunately I am quite fit and healthy anyway, gym is a passion of mine so I can quickly transition into running a marathon.”

He will be given a helping hand as he will be supplied with a running blade, which will be the first time he has used such a prosthetic.

“This will be a challenge for me as well, I will probably only have about two weeks to learn to use it then go run the marathon.”

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