100 not out!
Ken, (in red jacket with support runners in the photo above) a Sergeant from RAF Waddington and a veteran of several half and full marathons has just completed a staggering 27 hour 100 mile run from Hull to RAF Waddington along the Viking Way footpath - raising money for service charity SSAFA in the process.
Ken has been a SSAFA volunteer for over 26 years now and sees first-hand the importance of the work that the charity does. The oldest tri-service military charity in the UK having been around for over 130 years, it has a network of over 6000 volunteers and case-workers and offers lifelong support to anyone who has ever served in the UK Armed Forces.
The Viking Way is a long distance footpath which starts on the banks of the Humber in the north and winds its way through Lincolnshire. Despite its outstanding natural beauty, running "off road" and over this type of distance can be punishing so to keep him focussed and motivated Ken had a small support group of fellow runners which included work colleagues and their families. They took it in turns to run alongside him for several miles at a time and kept him fuelled up with food and water.
The run wasn't without incident though. Navigating through the night along with support runner Michelle Mortimer and her pooch Bella (who was slightly bemused at having a 12 kilometre "walkies" in the dead of night but totally up for it nonetheless) they managed to miss a turn and ended up taking a (short) unplanned detour. Ultimately they got back on track and with the correct route resumed they made impressive progress through the night.
Blisters, aching muscles and miserable weather aside, cheered on by station personnel Ken and his support team ran through the gates at RAF Waddington tired but jubilant. They were even able to raise a smile for the cameras!
On completing the run Ken said: "I have had a huge amount of support from my Squadron throughout this 100 mile run. It's been an amazing opportunity to bond as a team and the crew were with me for the whole way, running alongside and keeping me safe. I'm feeling surprisingly fresh and only cramped up once. I was running for SSAFA as I wanted to help raise awareness of the incredible work they do."
Important and Valued
RAF Waddington SSAFA Chairman said: "The importance of what Ken has achieved cannot be underestimated. The impact of a conflict is not often immediate; but the moment when it is starting to fade from the public consciousness is frequently the time when veterans and their families often need our help the most - this is why the fundraising efforts of people like Ken are so important and valued."