A STAR Wars stormtrooper is cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in memory of his father, who died of cancer a decade ago.

Lee Brace, 46, of Longfellow Road, Maldon, is set to take on a host of challenges dressed as one of the Evil Empire’s footsoldiers, including the 874-mile ride on a Raleigh Chopper bicycle, in less than ten days.

This month Lee will also be in the costume to take on the Brentwood Half Marathon and the Blackwater 40-mile Ultra Marathon, in memory of dad Chris, who died ten years ago, aged 62.

The idea to dress as a stormtrooper came to him after he was finally given the chance to run the London Marathon.

Lee said: “I went on a very long run and met a lady who could not do the marathon so she asked if I would like to.

“The charity I would represent was the Yes Partnership and I needed to raise £1,500 to take part, so I needed to find a way to raise that. That’s when I thought it would be funny to do it in a stormtrooper costume.”

Lee contacted a number of prop and costume companies who created a costume especially for him.

He has also blasters and fans which are attached to the inside of his helmet to make the challenge a little bit easier.

He hopes to raise £5,000 in support of a host of charities, including Cancer Research, Macmillan Cancer Support, Farleigh Hospice and the Yes partnership.

So far, he has raised £1,650.

Lee added: “Cancer Research is my ‘go to’ charity, while Macmillan and Farleigh have helped friends and family fighting cancer over the years.

“The Yes partnership has kindly provided a charity place for the marathon to enable me to broaden the challenge ahead.”

Lee’s father passed away after the cancer spread from his lung throughout his body.

Since his death, Lee has been taking on challenges in memory of him.

He said: “Before my dad died I made a promise to him that I would raise money for cancer charities every year.

“This is certainly the biggest thing I have ever done.

“I felt it was a good way to mark ten years since he’s been gone.

“He is still always with me.”

Training for his biggest challenge has begun and to make sure he is fully prepared, Lee has been running through the streets of Maldon, dressed in his wacky costume.

In one of his first outings, Lee took on the Maldon Park Run over the weekend, which he said was an “emotional” day.

He said: “I was scared out of my suit about doing it, but when I did it was so emotional to have so many people showing their support.

“I’m planning to do every park run in Essex now.”

Lee will complete the challenge from John O’Groats to Land’s End in August.

To pledge your support, go to virginmoneygiving.com/runride_blackwhite.