A FRIEND of river tragedy mum Alicia Williams is limbering up for a 250-mile ‘run’ in Aghanistan.
Rachael Armstrong, from Wrexham, who is an aircraft technician in the RAF, will attempt the gruelling challenge to raise funds for Alicia’s three-year-old daughter.
Rachael, 27, who is hoping to raise at least £2,000 for Ella-May, will run five miles per day for 50 days on a treadmill when she is deployed to the warzone next month.
Alicia and fiancé David Platt, both 25, drowned in the River Clywedog while walking their dogs on September 26.
An inquest following the deaths of the couple from Henry Street, Ruabon, has been opened and adjourned to a date to be fixed.
Rachael said: “I just wanted to do something for Ella, because I felt so sorry for her.
“I ran it past Ella’s dad, Dan, and Alicia’s sister and they were both very supportive.
“I’m always in the gym anyway when I’m posted in Afghanistan, so I thought I’d raise some money.”
Rachael got to know the couple when all three were pupils at Ysgol Rhiwabon.
Afterwards the girls worked together at Liquid nightclub in Wrexham and even considered moving in together.
Rachael, who joined the RAF aged 20, and who trained at RAF Halton, Bucks, and later at RAF Cosford, Shropshire, was driving in Marham, Norfolk, when she heard the news of her friend’s death over the radio.
She said: “I heard on the radio that two people had been killed in the River Clywedog and I thought it was awful.
“Then I found out who it was and I was absolutely devastated.”
Friends of the couple have rallied around since their deaths to raise funds for little Ella-May.
Last week four horses owned by Alicia, who worked at Pen-y-Bryn Riding Centre in Pentre Broughton, were sold at Beeston Castle Auction.
This will be Rachael’s third tour of Afghanistan.
People can support Rachael’s effort by going to www.indiegogo.com/Rachaels
Rachael is also preparing sponsor forms to give to local businesses in Wrexham.
See full story in the Leader