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Soldier Runs 126 Marathons To Raise Money For Burns Unit That Treated Him After Horrific Iraq Attack

“The hospital gave me life so I intend to use that life to give back to them as long as possible."

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Private Karl Hinett was 19 years old when he suffered horrific burns in a petrol bomb attack during a rescue mission in Iraq in 2005.

Newsteam / SWNS

He suffered 37 per cent burns on his body after the Warrior tank he was travelling in through Basra was attacked.

Hinett was put into a medially-induced coma and after he was woken up spent the next five years undergoing over 50 operations and skin grafts at Selly Oak Hospital, now the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

After he was discharged he set himself the extraordinary target of running 200 marathons by the time he was 30 years old.

And in just seven years the 27-year-old has completed 126, including races at both poles, raising £50,000 for the hospital in the process.

Newsteam / SWNS

“The hospital gave me life so I intend to use that life to give back to them as long as possible,” he told the SWNS news agency.

“It helped my recovery socially. They always made me feel like there was nothing to feel afraid of.

“Burns injuries scar you for life and some people are scared of going out, but the hospital helped me prepare mentally.”

He added: “The people there saved my life but the injury goes on for years, and the work the hospital did helped me get back on my feet."

Newsteam / SWNS

“Sometimes I would be in for weeks. Operations might last an hour or 12 hours – they really put the hours in on me. If it wasn’t for them, I would not have had the confidence and motivation to live my life and to push myself on these challenges.”

Hinett will run his 127th marathon in Kent next month.

The 27-year-old has been nominated for a bravery award at the Pride of Birmingham ceremony on 26 September, the day after the race.

Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at

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