AN EXPERIENCED long-distance runner is tackling an epic test of endurance to commemorate the heroes of a major war event and raise money for charity.

James Marshall, 47, from Belchamp Walter, is taking on the exhausting Run To Pegasus to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and raise £2000 for The Veterans Charity.

The gruelling ultra-marathon, which is stretched over 75 miles to replicate the number of years that have passed since the pivotal operation, will take in several of the attack’s key locations and moments.

James, a three-time London marathon runner, will first set off from an airfield in Tarrant Rushton, Dorset, from where the six Horsa gliders who went on to capture the Pegasus Bridge in Normandy took to the sky in 1944.

The lengthy pilgrimage’s 186 participants, which mirrors the number of soldiers and pilots involved in D-Day, will then embark on a 62-mile journey through the night to Portsmouth to board a ferry to France.

After docking in Ouistreham, the group will plough through the final 13-miles as they pass the coastline’s beachhead and military cemetery on their way to the finish line at the Pegasus Bridge.

James said: “Running through the night is going to be weird, but I’m intrigued to see how that’s going to feel and the following day we are stopping off at several veteran societies so that’s going to be quite powerful stuff.

“The local major in France and the people have been so generous with their time so it’s going to be quite an event to take part in and when we will finally see the Pegasus Bridge it will be a special moment.”

The Run to Pegasus is just one of many events taking place next month to commemorate the veterans of the infamous D-Day operation. But as well as commend the successes of history, James also wanted to use this opportunity to highlight and reward the great work of an organisation that offers support to the heroes of today.

He said: “Once you get under the skin of these charities that do stuff for military folk you realise that there is no doubt some of these guys and girls need some support when they leave the military.

“We take a lot of the work they do for us for granted and it’s easy to forget them, but these charities do great work and so I’m delighted to be involved.”

James will take on the Run To Pegasus on June 4 across two days.

If you would like to sponsor James’ run visit