AN RAF Air and Space Operations Specialist has recently completed the marathon challenge of running 200 miles in 26 days, raising over £1000 for Cancer Research UK.
Cpl Benson, deployed with the No. 1 Air Control Centre in support of Operations in the Middle East, had originally planned to run 60 miles, but with friends, family and colleagues pouring in donations he felt he should up the distance.
Lee said, “This is a cause that is very close to my heart and the donations have been fantastic. When I hit my fundraising target so early, I felt I had to repay everyone with extra miles. Towards the end, every mile felt like 10 and I felt every bit my age, but I’ve never been so determined to finish a challenge.”
Cpl Benson covered most of the distance around the mountains in central Cyprus often finding time to run whilst on breaks from work. He said, “Working a 12 hour shift cycle has proved a challenge so I’ve had to run at some strange times, fortunately my Crew Chief has been very understanding and I’ve been able to get out to run on my breaks at all hours, day and night.”
Every year Cancer Research UK invests in pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and has helped save millions of lives. The charity aims to see three-quarters of people with cancer surviving the disease by 2034 and last year it invested £455 million in new and ongoing research projects.
Flt Lt McGachy, the No. 1 Air Control Centre Detachment Commander stated, "This is the kind of mentality we look for in our personnel. A fantastic achievement at any altitude, let alone above 6,000 ft and all whilst raising money for a noble cause. Benson is a credit to both his Unit and to the Royal Air Force”
When asked to reflect on the accomplishment, Cpl Benson said, “I’ve run for a total of 24 hours, 31 minutes and 19 seconds. I’m pretty tired, I think I’ll go home now.” To which his Detachment Commander added, "It was a great effort, but he's not going home just yet!"