Armed Forces Day
Former Royal Marine Commando takes on a monthly half marathon to support WWTW
Former Royal Marine Commando, Ryan Wells, is halfway through his 12x12 challenge, running a half marathon each month to raise money for WWTW and those who served. In this Q+A, we caught up with Ryan to find out more about his background and what inspired him to take on the challenge.
1. Can you please introduce yourself and share a bit about your background?
I left school in September 2001 to join the Royal Marines Commandos (RM). I joined up in Jan 2002 and weighed 7 stone (this becomes relevant when I leave). I did 3 years as a general duties RM and then moved into the Vehicle mechanics branch to join the new state-of-the-art RM Viking support troop. This saw me deploy on Herricks 5 and 9. I was then promoted and moved to 40 Commando where I completed Herricks 12 and 17. During my time in the RM, I injured my hand which led to my medical discharge in November 2018. By this point, I weighed 14 stone and was 1’’ shorter than when I joined. After leaving the Armed Forces, I joined Amazon.
2. Why have you chosen to support Walking With The Wounded?
I heard about WWTW through my job at Amazon. For my first WWTW fundraising challenge, I planned a walk from Amazon Milton Keynes to Amazon Dunstable as part of WWTW’s Walking Home For Christmas campaign. During the walk with 3 other Amazon Warriors (Internal affinity group in Amazon), I jokingly said I would do a walk every month. It was a great event as we got to be ‘’military’' again for a few hours with a small challenge that was doable. We got to talk about things that we may normally not be able to.
I eventually decided to run a half marathon every month and instead of just doing the runs on my own I try to send out the details to get ANYONE else to join me, spin a few dits and maybe have a cheeky pint afterwards.
One of the things that struck me about WWTW is they recognise the other casualties of war, especially the families of veterans. I have chosen to support the charity for this year’s challenge. A couple of my challenges will cross over with SSAFA and my Royal Marines Charity throughout the year.
3. Can you tell us more about your challenge and what inspired you to take on such a challenge?
I struggled to settle into Civvy street and have had issues in the past both physical and mental. This challenge has given me the kick up the bum to sort out my physical attributes whilst maintaining a healthy head space, but also share the message that it’s OK to not be OK. I am more than happy to help and support anyone and always will.
The name of the challenge is 12x12 due to reflecting on the 12x12s we operated out of on Herrick 5. I’m sure that will not be noticed by many, but to those that do, it is a winner.
4. Can you share any highlights from your challenge so far?
Highlights so far have been chatting to people who have joined in on the walks and the discussions that come away from it, the realisation that sometimes we all need help, and it can be there if you ask, I just hope to help show people where the help is.
5. How can people support your fundraising?
For me, fundraising is the second goal. The main goal is to raise awareness of what WWTW can do for people. People can help by sharing on social and picking up the phone with someone they have not spoken to for ages. They can even use my fundraising challenge as a conversation starter, ‘’ alright mate not spoken for ages, have you seen that chubby boot neck doing half marathons every month? How are you?’’ If just one call like that comes out of my efforts, I would be very happy. If people wanted to help then, of course, they can donate to my fundraiser, share the fundraising link, and join me for a chat.