Dan's emotional ultra-marathon around Sussex on what would have been his veteran Grandad's 99th birthday

Determined Dan Skipp said he wanted to do something positive on his late grandad’s 99th birthday.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 1:37 pm

So Dan, from Bexhill, decided to complete a 60k ultra-marathon from his workplace at Property Fusion in Portland Road, Hove and has so far raised more than £1,800 for Worthing-based charity Care for Veterans.

Dan’s challenge, on June 10, took him seven hours and 52 minutes and saw him run from Hove to Saltdean, then to West Worthing and past the Care for Veterans charity in Boundary Road, Worthing, where residents cheered him on and he stopped to thank them for their support and tell them about his grandfather.

Dan then continued back to Hove, where friends and colleagues waited to cheer him to the finish-line.

Dan Skipp as he passes the Care for Veterans charity in Worthing
Dan Skipp as he passes the Care for Veterans charity in Worthing

Dan said: “The support I’ve had has been amazing. It was one of the most physical and mentally toughest things I have ever done. It was brutal but the videos and pictures are something I will treasure forever.

"Raising so much money for a charity close to my heart and my grandad’s, I just don’t think I can even put this into words. It was an absolute pleasure.”

Dan’s grandad Leonard Newell was a lifelong Royal Marine and proud military supporter. Dan said his grandad was ‘like a dad’ to him and he was devastated when he died last year. Knowing his grandad's birthday on June 10 would be a really tough day, Dan decided to organise the ultra-marathon effort to do something positive.

Leonard was born in Beverley Yorkshire, and was aged 17 when he joined the Royal Marines on March 4, 1940. He joined the RM Commandos on August 1, 1943, and served in the 42, 43 and 45 Commando units. During World War II, he served in Italy and Yugoslavia and after the war, he went on to serve in Singapore, Malaya and Hong Kong. His service ended on July 13, 1953.

Exhausted but happy after the grueling challenge

Current residents in Care for Veterans’ 60-bed facility are aged between 35 and 98 years old. The majority have Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or a degenerative neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson's. The funds raised from Dan's marathon will help towards the £1.9 million needed each year for the charity to maintain its nursing and rehabilitation services for ex-Service personnel.

Dan Skipp approaching the finish-line in Hove after his 60k ultra-marathon