Royal Air Force Wittering At The Great Eastern Run


First local runner home at the Peterborough Great Eastern Run yesterday was Royal Air Force Wittering Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor, Corporal Steve Robinson.

Cpl Steve Robinson (image courtesy Peterborough Telegraph)

Corporal Robinson was one of several runners from the Cambridgeshire Station who took part in the half-marathon, which attracted over five thousand runners. The winding 13.1 mile route takes in many of Peterborough’s suburbs and passes the city’s beautiful Norman cathedral.

In a rare 2017 outing the 34 year-old instructor from RAF Wittering claimed seventh place with an impressive time of 1 hour 12 minutes and 31 seconds. Surprised at his success, Cpl Robinson said: “I’ve hardly raced at all, I think’s it’s having kids - they wear you out.”

Warrant Officer Williams at the start

Proudly supporting the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund was the team from Personnel Management Squadron. Three runners, including the Squadron’s Officer Commanding, Squadron Leader Maggie Boyle, wore the ‘Ben-Fund’ vests. Squadron Warrant Officer Gareth Williams (45), however, completed the run in the charity’s Ben Elephant costume.

The Personnel Management Squadron team after the race

Despite the heavy and uncomfortable costume, Warrant Officer Williams completed the half-marathon in a whisker over 2 hours and 40 minutes. First timers, Squadron Leader Boyle and Flight Lieutenant Sarah James, both finished in just under 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Warrant Officer Williams after the finish

Engineering technician Corporal Dave Howard came home at 2 hours and 2 minutes. Finding that last burst of energy after 13.1 miles, the 39 year-old obstacle race enthusiast literally sprinted across the finish line.

Cpl Dave Howard at the start

Group Captain Tony Keeling is the Commanding Officer at Royal Air Force Wittering and an amateur, albeit keen, runner himself. He said: “Running a half-marathon is no joke. It takes training and stamina to cross that finish line – especially if you are running dressed as an elephant! Sport is a key part of what we do in the RAF, it promotes teamwork and the fitness needed for working at home and abroad on operations.”

The Station Commander continued: “It’s not all about work though, you can excel at your chosen discipline, support a charity or just enjoy yourself; those are equally important motives too. The Great Eastern Run is a fantastic local event and all those who took part should be proud of their achievement, just as RAF Wittering is very proud of its runners.”

Editor: Ed Palmer

Photographer: Supplied Images, Cpl Steve Robinson (image courtesy Peterborough Telegraph)

RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2017