Black Country war hero Karl Hinett will be returning to Iraq in an epic challenge to mark the 10th anniversary of when he was horrifically injured in the country.
The soldier turned fundraiser will be taking on a 5,000km running challenge dubbed ‘Back 2 Iraq 2015’ in two years time, which will see him run across Europe, Turkey and back to the Middle East.
He today admitted it would be an emotional return to the country where he was badly burned after an armoured vehicle he was in was bombed in Iraq in 2005 while he was serving in the Army.
As a private with the Staffordshire Regiment, Karl suffered severe burns to his hands, legs, arms and face in the bombing, his injuries so bad he had to painstakingly learn to walk again. But he battled back to compete in dozens of gruelling challenges.
On New Year’s Day 2011 he started a marathon challenge to raise cash for Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he was nursed back to health.
He finished the last gruelling 26.2 mile run in Liverpool on New Year’s Eve last year. He has raised £30,000 for charity and now plans to take part in a 150-mile jungle marathon in Vietnam and climb Mount Kilimanjaro in October.
On his return to Iraq, the 26-year-old from Hall Lane in Tipton, whose partner is 25-year-old Beth Platts, said: “It is only in the very early stages, but me and a friend are going to run from England to Iraq in 2015.”
Money will be split between the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and Walking With The Wounded. Karl said the idea was formed with fellow participant Jules Roberts, 29. They plan to run around a marathon a day, starting in England, making their way through France, Germany, Prague, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and then on to Iraq.