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Rob Rinder on 250km Sahara run with the British Army: ‘I hope that I survive’

Exclusive: The TV personality is raising funds for the Army Benevolent Fund

By Dale Fox

Composite of Rob Rinder in army fatigues and running in the desert
Rob Rinder is set to take part in Rinder's Run to raise money for Army personnel (Image: Instagram/ @robrinder; BBC/Sport Relief)

Broadcaster and barrister Rob Rinder is set to take on one of the biggest challenges of his life, as he prepares to run a massive 250km over six days across one of the harshest terrains on Earth.

Coined ‘Rinder’s Run,’ the TV judge will join a crack team of British Army professionals, undertaking what’s been described as the world’s hardest land race to raise money for the Army Benevolent Fund.

Speaking exclusively to Attitude, Rob explained how he became involved. “The reason it all started is because I was invited to the Royal Corps of Army Music (RCAM) and I was sitting next a colonel who told me after a few drinks she’d done it and I said, well, I’ll do it too,” he said. “So the moral of the story is try not to get drunk at a regimental dinner.”

The British Army is a great example “of the range and breadth of diversity who come together from every background and every community, including the LGBTQ+ community, to share values and put their lives on the line to keep us free,” he added.

The mammoth race will see honorary lieutenant commandant of the RCAM Rob join Olympic champion Heather Stanning OBE, Infantry Colonel Mark Nooney MC, Army Corporal Natalya Platonova and the British Army’s most senior soldier, Army Sergeant Major Paul Carney on a six-day adventure in the Sahara.

“I could have been a a slightly more glamorous fun run, but this is what the Army do, so I guess I’m going to be alongside them and hope that I survive,” Rob, who previously took part in a Namibian trek for Sport Relief in 2020, joked.

“I really do feel that there’s something that they have to teach all of our communities about how to exist in a cohesive way” -Rob Rinder on the British Army

Taking place in April, Rob has started a fundraiser to gather donations for the Army Benevolent Fund, the Army’s national charity which serving or former service people and their families “can go to when they find themselves on hard times,” he explained. Over £10,000 has already been raised, as of time of publishing.

“We don’t actually hear about the military or know what they do necessarily, unless you’ve got a relative or a close friend and or loved one who’s a military person. But I really do feel that there’s something that they have to teach all of our communities about how to exist in a cohesive way, and I think that that’s something that I’m interested in sharing.”

Donations can be made to support Rinder’s Run by visiting its Just Giving page, while fans can follow Rob’s journey on his Instagram account.