Marines to pass through Barnstaple on final leg of gruelling 1664 challenge

Marines pass through Exmouth as part of their 1664 challenge last month.

Marines pass through Exmouth as part of their 1664 challenge last month. - Credit: Archant

Town to roll out the red carpet to runners on historic quest to mark 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines.

NORTH Devon will be welcoming Royal Marines taking part in the final chapter of a gruelling challenge to mark the corps’ 350th anniversary next week.

Troops taking part in the running leg of the five-month-long Royal Marines 1664 Challenge are expected to arrive in Barnstaple Square at around 4pm on Tuesday, June 17.

The challenge 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.

On Monday, the team of six serving marines – supported by runners from Chivenor-based 24 Commando Regiment – will be heading from Bude to Hartland.


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On Tuesday, the group will set off from Torrington at 9am, before passing through Bideford at 11am and arriving in Barnstaple at around 3.30pm.

There will be entertainment in the Square from 3.30pm to 5.15pm, including a performance by the Military Wives Choir and the Royal Marine Corps of Drums at 4.30pm.

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Collections will be made for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

On Wednesday at 9am, the team, lead 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

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