An RAF serviceman is running a 450-mile ultra-marathon to thank two charities which supported him and his wife through several miscarriages last year, and has already raised over £6,700 in funding.

When Anna and Tom Mountney, based at RAF Brize Norton, experienced the loss of their unborn baby last year they were supported by two charities: RAF Benevolent Fund, an RAF welfare charity, and Tommy’s, which funds research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

But this year is completely different: the couple not only expects their first child soon, but also found a way to thank the charities for their support.

Since September 26, Mr Mountney has run 40-50 miles each day towards the 450-mile route of the national Three Peaks Challenge. He plans to complete the running challenge, as well as climbing the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales, before October 9, the day that marks the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week.

By being open about their experiences the couple wants to raise awareness about baby loss, but Mr Mountney’s ultra-marathon challenge has a more tangible goal: he aims to raise £10,000 in funding for the charities, and he's almost at the £7,000 mark.

He said: “I wanted to do something that was arduous and represented the struggle that people who suffer from baby loss go through.

“There are highs and lows and life can feel relentless, but you just have to break these seemingly insurmountable barriers down into smaller and smaller chunks until you can get over them, one by one.

“This tragic experience has been a huge mental challenge for me, which is exactly the same as running this ultra-marathon: you have to break it down and take it one step at a time.”

Charlotte Barmby of RAF Benevolent Fund said: “Tom’s decision to embark on this epic fundraising challenge in the wake of such heart-breaking loss is truly inspiring.

“Servicemen are notoriously proud and tight-lipped when it comes to talking about their problems, so Tom’s openness about his and Anna’s experience of baby loss is all the more moving.”

Tommy’s Jane Brewin added: “When a baby dies during pregnancy or is born too soon, parents are often told that it’s ‘just one of those things’. Tommy’s believes that pregnancy complications and baby loss are neither inevitable nor acceptable.

"Our research proves that we can find answers and prevent babies from dying before, during and after birth. However, we need more funding for more research and applaud and thank Tom for all his efforts to raise money for Tommy’s”.

To support Mr Mountney's efforts, visit Virgin Money Giving website and search for ‘Running on Empty’.