Former Royal Marine completes gruelling 170 mile marathon run in memory of friend

Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

A former Royal Marine has just complete a gruelling 170 mile run in memory of a former friend and colleague who took his own life.

Jack Elliot reached the finishing line in Netley having set off from his home in Derbyshire to the South coast in memory of Southampton tattoo artist Sam Parkinson.

Sam, who was 26, died in March last year having struggled with lockdown.

Jack wanted to complete the tough challenge, not just to raise money for mental health charity rock2recovery, but to also raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Sam Harrison died in March 2020 Credit:

"If I can help at least one person that is going through what Sam went through and what Sam's family is still going through now, that's what's important," said Jack.

"I know how hard it hit me and I was just his best friend.

"There's other families going through what guys like Sam went through. So I want to help as many those as I can."

Jack Elliott stopping for a picture in Oxford during his week long run Credit:

The challenge, which took over a week saw Jack run between 20 to 28 miles a day, taking in Coventry, Banbury, Oxford, Newbury, Winchester and Southampton.

At the end of the 170 miles Jack was met at the finishing line in Netley by Sue Parkinson, Sam's mother.

"I think COVID has upset a lot of people. I think there's a lot of, young men out there , that are suffering and they feel like they've got to man up" says Sue.

"My son was constantly saying 'I've got to man up, man up', and you haven't got to man up you've got to reach out.

"And if this helps to stop some young man or girl committing suicide, then it's done something good."

Suicide prevention support organisations:

Samaritans provides round the clock support for people when they need it most.

You can call them 24 hours a day on 116 123. They also have tips if you're concerned about someone you know, and advice if you're struggling yourself.

Mind provides advice and support to help anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

You can call them Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm on 0300 123 3393. You can also text them on 86463.

An organisation aimed at helping people under the age of 35.

You can call them on 0800 068 4141.

CALM is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. They offer support and campaign to change the cultural barrier preventing men from seeking help.

You can call them between 5pm and midnight, any night of the week, on 0800 58 58 58.