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PHOTOS: Barnstaple welcomes Marines on final leg of 1664 Challenge

16:48 17 June 2014

Welcoming the marines into Barnstaple. Pic: Ben Stupples.

Welcoming the marines into Barnstaple. Pic: Ben Stupples.

Archant

Crowds gathered in Barnstaple to welcome the troops who are covering a total of 1,664km on foot.

The Marines welcomed into Barnstaple. Pic: Sarah HowellsThe Marines welcomed into Barnstaple. Pic: Sarah Howells

DOZENS of people gathered at Barnstaple Square this afternoon (Tuesday) to welcome Royal Marines taking part in a gruelling challenge.

Troops taking part in the running leg of the five-month-long Royal Marines 1664 Challenge arrived in the Square to a welcome arrival.

The Military Wives Choir entertained the crowd and the Royal Marine Corps of Drums also put on a performance.

The challenge is being held to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines.

The Marines welcomed into Barnstaple. Pic: Sarah HowellsThe Marines welcomed into Barnstaple. Pic: Sarah Howells

Troops set off from the Arctic Circle in February and is broken into five phases – ski, sail, cycle, canoe and run – to mark the birth of the Royal Marines in 1664.

Yesterday the team of six serving marines, supported by runners from Chivenor-based 24 Commander Regiment, ran from Bude to Hartland.

The group set off this morning from Torrington, passing through Bideford and arriving in Barnstaple at around 4pm.

Tomorrow the team, led by a piper, will set off for Simonsbath, supported by marines from Commando Logistics Regiment, also based at Chivenor.

The runners will be covering a total of 1,664 km, arriving in London on July 25 – the actual anniversary of the corps’ establishment.

It follows a 1,664km ski from the Arctic Circle; a 1,664 nautical mile sail from Stavanger in Norway to Cadiz in Spain; a 1,664 km cycle along the coast of France; and a 193 km canoe across the English Channel.

It is hoped the challenge will raise £500,000 for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/RoyalMarines1664Challenge.

To view more photos from the Marines’ arrival in Barnstaple, click the galleries on the right of the page.

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