A former paratrooper from Nottingham who ran seven marathons in a week has set himself a new challenge to run the length of Ireland in record breaking time.

Luke Wigman is training hard to get up to his peak fitness with only eight months left to prepare for his target.

The war hero took part in the marathon challenges after stepping on an IED (improvised explosive device) on patrol in a village in Afghanistan which tore his leg to pieces.

Luke Wigman crossing the line in Miami marathon
Luke Wigman crossing the line in Miami marathon. (Photo Credit: World Marathon Challenge / Ed Colon)

He aims to set an example for others and help them see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and things do get better.

Audio: Luke Wigman uses his experiences as motivation

Luke’s next challenge is to run the length of Ireland in the fastest time ever in October this year. The 350 mile run will start at Malin Head and finish at Mizen Head.  He wants to complete the run in three and a half days running approximately 100 miles a day.

Luke’s marathon efforts are in aid of raising money for the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) that is due to be built and finished in Loughborough by summer 2018.

His war experiences motivated him to start marathon running as he has first-hand experience what value clinical rehabilitation has.

DNRC watercolour north facade (copyright BSS Ltd)
What the DNRC will look like (Copyright: The BSS Group Ltd.)

Ben Copithorne, Communications Director for the DNRC Programme hopes the centre will serve the nation as a complimentary facility looking at lessons and expertise from defence medicine that will apply to the NHS and population as a whole.

Audio: Ben Copithorne says the new site will be fit for the 21st Century

The DNRC from a birdseye view (Copyright: The BSS Group Ltd)
The DNRC from a birdseye view (Copyright: The BSS Group Ltd)

£258 million has been raised so far towards the construction of the defence facility.

There is a bit of work to do yet to reach the £300 million target however the charity is confident it will do this.