Instow resident tackling the 132 mile ‘route march’ on May 23.

AN Instow woman has set herself a 132 mile challenge in the shape of the Forces March event setting off from Ilfracombe this May.

Alice Cooke only took up running three years ago, entering events to raise money for charity and in October completed her first full marathon.

“This year I wanted to set myself an even greater challenge and that is why the Forces March appealed to me – and, having seen the route, it is going to be a challenge,” she said.

“In the past, lack of confidence would make me give up on things I found difficult, which is why I now like to push myself.”

The five day event will follow the path of an infamous wartime “route march” from North Devon to Bulford Camp in Wiltshire, its main feature being plenty of hills.

Now in its third year, the march sets off from Ilfracombe Swimming pool car park on May 23 and is open to anyone who wishes to sign up and run or walk all or part of it.

Participants are asked to raise sponsorship and all proceeds go to the Veterans Charity.

Alice, a former Territorial Army member, is hoped to raise at least £1,000: “I well remember that I felt invincible at that age and if a conflict had arisen at the time I would probably gone believing nothing would ever happen to me,” she said.

“I now often wonder how many of the young men and women being deployed to conflict zones, feel the same. I also have the greatest respect for those coming back badly injured who show such determination to live active lives, not giving in to their disabilities.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Alice can go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AliceCooke or make a donation at Inspiration-Fitness Gym in Roundswell, Indigo in Green Lanes, Yelland or Instow Post Offices.

Find out more about the Forces March or sign up at www.forcesmarch.org.uk.