As many of our members will know, the annual Lincoln 10km Fun Run has been a focal point of Branch Poppy Appeal fundraising for several years now.
2014 was no exception and on the 6th of April a team of 11 runners, some of whom are members of the Branch and some of whom are not, gathered in Lincoln to take part in the event.
Such is the diversity of the team in terms of age, background and indeed levels of fitness, that it is worthwhile taking the time to briefly introduce each one of them to you to give you an idea of the sacrifices in terms of time and money some of them made to take part in this fundraiser.
|A long time Branch Member – ex Regular Officer and now a serving officer in JSSU(V), our stalwart TA supporters.|
|Another member of the JSSU(V) team and a serving warrant officer in the Royal Naval Reserve.|
Adrian (Miffy) Smith
|A JSSU(V) warrant officer who enjoyed the run so much that he went home after it and generously sponsored himself on our Just Giving page!|
|Former Captain (Traffic) and now a much travelled member of the OSCE team. He made a road journey from Tunisia via Italy to Lincoln to take part in the event. Next stop apparently is Kyrgyzstan!|
|Former member of JSSU(V) but now promoted to Lt Colonel and in command of his own unit. Jez is a very busy man in both his civilian and TA careers, but found the time to come to Lincoln from London to take part in the race, as he has done on many occasions in the past.|
|A former Intelligence Corps WO1 in both the Regulars and Reserve. No longer serving in the TA but still finds time each year to travel from London to Lincoln to take part in the fundraiser.|
|The mad Scotsman! Former Royal Signals RD Staff Sergeant who served in both Garats Hay and at Digby – a fitness fanatic and a great asset to the team.|
|Until very recently a Digby Based Royal Signals IT specialist and now your Branch’s new Webmaster. Along with Jolene, quite definitely one of the younger members of the team.|
|Digby based RAF specialist SNCO – and one of the younger members of the team. She is not yet a member of the Branch but promises that that will be rectified very soon.|
|Your chairman’s 70 year old neighbour. He has no military past, but has always been a staunch supporter of the Legion and our fundraising efforts. His fitness and enthusiasm are quite phenomenal.|
|Your Branch Chairman and, at 65, the second oldest member of the team.|
Some of the team before the start (click here to see all photos)
Six of the team gathered at the Chairman’s house before the race to make their final preparations and to don their very smart Poppy Appeal t-shirts which had been kindly supplied to us by Legion Head Office.
We then made our short journey to the race start area to RV with the remainder of the team.
Monty and Jill at the start line (click here to see all photos)
After carrying out the appropriate military ‘Combat Estimate’, we decided on a three bucket strategy for the race with two teams of 4, left and right flanking along the crowds lining the course, and a third team of 3, sweeping behind to catch those spectators who were a bit slow finding their purses and wallets. This strategy proved to be very effective, even if the ‘sweeping’ team of 3 somehow managed to complete the race two minutes faster than the other two teams. Oh well – no plan survives contact with the enemy.
As the following pictures show, we all finished the race in good order and in very commendable times, ranging from 1 hr 13 mins to 1 hr 15 mins. Not bad when you are burdened by a bucket full of coins!
Jill and Miffy at the finishing line (click here to see all photos)
L-R Danny, Robbie, Sarah, Mick, Jez and Dennis at the finishing line (click here to see all photos)
Bob and Danny going strong for the finish (click here to see all photos)
At this point the runners would like to day a special thank you to Branch Secretary, John Neal, who positioned himself halfway round the race route with a large rucksack into which we emptied our buckets to lighten the load for the remaining 5 kilometres and good neighbour Kevan Dixon who provided transport to the start line and home again at the end.
With the race completed, several of the team returned to the Chairman’s home for Jennifer’s traditional bacon butties, before heading off to the pub to quench our considerable thirsts and to count the bucket collection.
Counting the contents of three large buckets is no easy task, especially when donations range from the occasional fiver right down to the one and two pence piece contents of many a generous small child’s money box. However, refreshed by a steady flow of large glasses of brown nectar, we completed the task within the hour and persuaded the pub landlord to convert our coins to notes.
The final total raised through the bucket rattling was a magnificent:
But that is not quite the end of the story.
Various other fundraising initiatives, ranging from personal sponsorship forms to the Justgiving page on the web, increased the total considerably.
Our thanks go to:
The 21 generous people who sponsored us via Justgiving to the tune of:
The Branch members who sent postal contributions to the total of:
The family, friends and work colleagues of Jolene Johnston and Sarah Drummond whose sponsorship increased the total by a further:
This amount includes a very generous donation from Jolene’s father’s company, Northern Platforms & Stagings.
And to the regulars of the Lincoln Poacher and the friends and work colleagues of Bob Stather who sponsored him to the tune of:
Which all adds up to the magnificent final total raised for the Poppy Appeal:
One final note on the fundraising – The Justgiving page, which is accessible via the button below or the button on the fundraising page, will remain active throughout the year, so should anyone wish to sponsor the runners retrospectively or simply make a spontaneous donation to the Poppy Appeal at any time or for whatever reason, they can do so by following the Justgiving link.
In closing, may I, as Branch Chairman, say a very sincere thanks to all those very kind and motivated people who helped to make this fundraising effort the great success that it was.
Who is up for it next year? Age is no object and 10kms is not all that far! The bacon butties are free!
Think about it! May be it is time to have a go.