Seven marathons, seven days, seven continents: Yorkshire army veteran's challenge

Captain Ibi Ali, right, with Luke Wigman
Captain Ibi Ali, right, with Luke Wigman
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An Iraq veteran from Selby is preparing to run an incredible seven marathons in just seven days.

Ibi Ali, a Military Cross holder who lost his right arm in a roadside bombing in Basra 10 years ago, will complete the races in seven continents and cover a total of 43,500km in only a week.

He and training partner Luke Wigman, a former RAF serviceman, are tackling the mind-blowing challenge in a bid to raise money towards the building of a new defence rehabilitation facility near Loughborough for wounded service personnel.

Ali, 39, who has competed at the Invictus Games and trekked to the South Pole with Walking with the Wounded, sets off on January 17 ahead of the first race six days later.

The pair will undertake marathons in Antarctica's Union Glacier, Punta Arenas in South America, Miami in the USA, Madrid in Spain, Marrakesh in north Africa and Dubai before ending the challenge in Sydney, Australia.

The former army captain, who has a £1million fundraising target, was seriously wounded in the explosion in the Iraqi city. He injured both his legs and his left wrist before his lower right arm was eventually amputated.

Ali re-trained and returned to operational service, completing further tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is now an operations manager at fitness company Speedflex.

The Triple Seven Challenge supports the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre project, with the new treatment facility set to open in 2018 and replace Headley Court in Surrey.