Forces Charities

'Crackers about mental health': Fundraising veteran dresses up for 70th marathon

Former Army Major Sally Orange spoke to Forces News ahead of the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon.

An Army veteran and mental health advocate is preparing to run her 70th marathon on Sunday – dressed as a cracker.

Sally Orange, a former Army Major and UK Ambassador for the Army Cadet Force, is hoping to catch as many eyes as possible during the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon, raising money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Known for tackling endurance challenges, often with food themes, she says the idea is to raise awareness on mental health around the festive season.

"I am crackers about mental health," Ms Orange told Forces News.

"People often ask me why I do these things and, I think, particularly at this time of year, mental health is really, really important.

"It's going to be great for some people to have their families around them, but for some people it'll be the first time that they've got loved ones who aren't with them.

"So it's really trying to get a serious message out in quite a fun way."

The veteran holds the Guinness World Record for the only person to complete a marathon in fruit costumes on every continent, and ran laps around London's NHS Nightingale facility in April 2020, after the military helped to establish it under the COVID response.

Ms Orange completed 22 years of service in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Physiotherapy Officer, including an operational tour of duty in Afghanistan.