Royal Navy runners
The four-man team taking on HMS Albion (Picture: Royal Navy).

Runners Vs HMS Albion: The Sailors Racing Their Own Ship

Royal Navy runners
The four-man team taking on HMS Albion (Picture: Royal Navy).

A team of Royal Navy runners have set themselves the mammoth task of racing their ship from Liverpool to their home port of Plymouth.

The Top Gear-esque challenge will see the four-man team run the 280-mile route in six days, equating to an average of 50 miles a day.

Running in teams of two, the HMS Albion sailors will need to keep up a speed of roughly five miles an hour and will be spending a gruelling 10 hours on the road every day.

The amphibious assault ship, which welcomed the Princess Royal on board last weekend, is sailing towards Merseyside after completing Exercise Joint Warrior off the northwest coast of Scotland, before heading south to her Devonport base. 

The daring runners are all members of HMS Albion's Marine Engineering Department and are raising money and awareness for charity Claire House Children's Hospice that supports seriously and terminally ill children.

They're hoping to raise £2,800 – about £10 per mile – and are currently sitting at around the £1,900 mark.

HMS Albion approaching Devonport, Plymouth, in June.
HMS Albion approaching Devonport, Plymouth, in June.

Petty Officer Ky Blankley, who is the challenge team leader, said: "We're setting off when the ship docks in Liverpool and on our first day we're visiting Claire House Hospice in Cheshire, roughly 15 miles away from our start point.

"This will help raise the profile of the charity and motivate us as to why we are doing this monster run."

The team will work in pairs, with two runners leapfrogging the other duo in relay to checkpoints, collecting donations and delivering them food and drink.

Petty Officer Blankley said "any time not running will be taken up with replacing calories or sleeping".

He said support and donations will "help push the team through the tough days that lay ahead", adding: "Awareness and funding the charity will make the world of difference to aid the staff and children they provide amazing care for."

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