Half-marathon man Joff running for help for Heroes

Joff Anselmi, of Great Cornard, who is running five half marathons in five days for Help for Heroes

Joff Anselmi, of Great Cornard, who is running five half marathons in five days for Help for Heroes Picture: PEPTALK COMMUNICATIONS - Credit: PEPTALK COMMUNICATIONS

Suffolk fitness enthusiast Joff Anselmi is hitting the road in a gruelling challenge to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Joff Anselmi, 21, from Great Cornard, near Sudbury, will run five half marathons in five consecutive days, covering a total of more than 65 miles, with the aim of raising at least £1,500.

A student of Applied Sport at the University of Suffolk and a personal trainer at Stoke by Nayland’s Peake Fitness gym, Joff is no stranger to physical fitness challenges having already completed a triathlon and several Spartan and 10km runs for charity.

It was after completing the 2018 Colchester half marathon that the inspiration came for his latest ‘Five in Five challenge’.

“It was one of my toughest mental and physical challenges but I felt really inspired,” Joff said.

“After completing the Colchester run I wanted to set myself a mega challenge; something that would really test and push me, and raise money for Help for Heroes.

“I wanted to make this challenge as crazy and challenging as possible due to the fact that I am fortunate enough to be able to attempt something of this magnitude.

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“Some of those affected during their duties are now in a position where their injuries mean that running or walking may never be an option for them again.

“They put their bodies through so much for us and to ensure our safety, and so I would like to do as much as I can to give back to them.”

Hoping to raise money for Help for Heroes, Joff contacted the charity and he was invited to visit the Chavasse VC House Recovery Centre in Colchester.

The centre provides physical and emotional rehabilitation and recovery services to sick and injured Service Personnel, Veterans and their families.

Joff said: “It was really humbling to meet some of the people that benefit from the support of Help for Heroes, and to see the facilities and services the charity provides for both serving and ex-service personnel.

“It’s very fitting that one of the charity’s recovery centres is in Colchester, as that’s where I’ll be completing the final Five in Five run. It’s also where the inspiration for the challenge came from.“

Joff kicks off the ‘Five in Five challenge’ on Wednesday March 20, with his first run taking place around Great Cornard.

His route will take him running through his sister’s home village of Long Melford on day two, around his area of work in Stoke by Nayland on day three, and through his family’s home town of Clacton on day four.

Joff will complete his epic challenge as he finally crosses the finishing line at the Colchester half marathon on Sunday March 24 - the race that originally inspired his challenge.

Joff said: “It’s going to be tough, and I know I’ll have to overcome both the physical and mental challenge each day, but I’m really focused on why I am doing this, and I have a lot of support from friends, family and colleagues.

“I am really looking forward to it and hope people will spur me on if they see me out running over the coming week.

If you would like to make a donation to Help for Heroes and follow Joff’s progress, please visit his JustGiving page.

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