A group of athletic aerospace workers have joined a former soldier who is running 18 marathons in as many days to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Dave Moretta, 26, of Ribchester, set off on his first 26.2-mile mission from the barracks in Weeton this morning accompanied by four other employees, with more signed up to run with him in other races over the coming days.

The employees will join him for the first half of the marathon which will take them to the our training centre at West Strand Road, Preston.

Employees choice

They are among thousands of employees who have selected the Royal British Legion as the chosen charity for our sites at Warton and Samlesbury for the year.

In memory of

Dave said the first day of the endurance mission was in memory of Sgt Nigel Coupe, of St Annes, who was one of six soldiers to lose their lives when their armoured vehicle was caught in an explosion in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

Dedicating the mission

The former Queen’s Lancashire Regiment Kingsman is dedicating the entire mission to the 18 Lancashire soldiers who have lost their lives in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and to regional launch the Legion’s annual poppy appeal.

He said: “I wear my heart on my sleeve and am passionate about the armed forces and Lancashire.

“I just wanted to give the 18 men who have died another send off and then I will have done my bit.”

Dave’s goal

Dave is aiming to raise £6,000 for the Legion, which supported him when he came out of the Army, before finishing the 471.6-mile race on Remembrance Sunday 10 November. The four employees joining Dave on the first half of his inaugural marathon are David Wild, Nik Barnett, Jonathan Barron and James Harwood.

A few words from Jenny

Jenny Westworth, employee fund-raising and volunteering lead for Warton site, said: “We are proud to support the Royal British Legion as the chosen charity for our Warton and Samlesbury sites this year, and delighted to support Dave in his marathon attempt.

“Our people will be acting as pace-setters for Dave as he gets started and then supporting him as he bids to raise money for a fantastic charity.

“We are very proud our people have once again gone above and beyond the call of duty, and hope this will be the first of many fund-raising events we will hold in aid of the Royal British Legion in the coming year.”

Working together

Next Thursday, 31 October, Dave will be joined by a further ten employees who will leave from the main gate of our Warton site, with some running the first half of the marathon and others completing the full 26.2-mile marathon.

The following Thursday, 7 November, a further 12 employees have signed up to support Dave in a further run which sets off from our Samlesbury site.

When the employees taking part in the first marathon reach the halfway point, they will be ferried back to Warton courtesy of Walton's Coaches, which supplied transport free of charge in support of the charity effort.