Cardiff born teacher to run Borneo marathon in memory of fallen soldier
21 May 2013 12:55
A Cardiff born teacher is gearing up to run in his very first marathon in memory of two lost friends, one of whom was Captain Stephen Healey of the 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh.
A Cardiff born teacher is gearing up to run in his very first marathon in memory of two lost friends, one of whom was Captain Stephen Healey of the 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh who was killed by an IED explosion in Afghanistan last year.
Colum John, 28 and based in Malaysia, plans to run in the Borneo International Half Marathon in aid of Blind Veterans UK, Stephen Healey's favourite charity. He will also be running in memory of his late friend, Lee Howlett.
Colum says: "I have chosen to run in aid of Blind Veterans UK because my friend Stephen Healey believed in it. I have seen the amazing work and courage shown by Thea [Davies], Stephen's girlfriend, and thought I can do the same. My work colleagues got me involved in the marathon and I thought that I should make it not just worthwhile for me but for others as well and help out in any way I can.
Colum, who knew Stephen through his brother, has been living in Malaysia for 2 years, though is soon to move to live in Vietnam.
He says: "I remember Stephen always going out of his way to ask how I was. Stephen was a really talented footballer and genuine good guy. As for Lee, I don't think I ever saw without a smile on his face. He was a gym and motorbike enthusiast always living life to the full.
Cardiff based Thea Davies, as Colum mentions above, was Stephen's partner and has chosen to run 415 miles in various marathon and half marathons in aid of Blind Veterans UK in his memory. Thea chose 415 as distance to mark the fact that Stephen had been the 415th fallen soldier. Stephen's support for the charity came as result of seeing the impact it had on his comrades who had been blinded in action.
Colum says: "Since I decided to support Blind Veterans UK I have learned that the work it does is fantastic. The people the charity helps deserve a lot and this is a great way to support them.
"I have never done a half marathon before and it will be interesting to test myself. I was encouraged by colleagues to take part in it and thought why not - if they can so can I!".
To support Colum John in running the Borneo International Half Marathon in aid of Blind Veterans UK, visit his Just Giving page.