RAF athletes triumph at Braemar Gathering

RAF sprinters, hill runners and tug-of-war athletes carried home three trophies from Saturday’s annual Braemar Gathering in Scotland in a unique Highland Games event attended by Her Majesty The Queen.

HM The Queen presenting the Inter-Services Challenge Shield to FS Laurence Ramm

Cheered on by a crowd of 16,000 spectators at the famous grass track arena in the heart of the Cairngorms, RAF Waddington’s four-man Medley Relay team stormed ahead of the competition to take the Inter-Services Challenge Shield Medley Relay.

SAC Clint Lashley leading the Inter-Services Medley Relay for RAF Waddington

A convincing win by Corporal James Bellward in the gruelling Hill Race and victory by the Air Command Tug-of-War team in the Braemar Plate completed triple honours for the RAF athletes.


Climbing a path 1,200 feet to the top of five cairns overlooking the arena, runners in the Gathering Hill Race choose their own way back down in an exhilarating return to the Royal Pavilion. Beating athletes from across the UK and Europe in this hotly contested race was RAF Physical Training Instructor Corporal James Bellward.

Squadron Leader Jo Roe finishing the Gathering Hill Race

After a disappointing start to the competition, the RAF Air Command Tug-of-War team regained composure to battle their way back to reach the final of the Braemar Plate, one of two inter-service tug-of-war events held on the day.

Air Command Tug-of-War Team pulling their way to the Braemar Plate final

Photographs by SAC Connor Tierney and LAC Sam Holden