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RAF Athletes Line up at the Ottawa Games

Honington 10K - 07

Honington 10K - Interservice Championships

By Flt Lt Carl Thompson

RAF Athletes on the Start Line A total of 188 athletes from the Royal Air Force, Army and local civilian clubs participated in the 2007 Inter-Services and Royal Air Force 10 km Road Running Championships once again hosted by RAF Honington. A total of 110 athletes competed in 2006 so the additional attendance of another 78 athletes was a remarkable improvement given the current operational tempo. With none of the Royal Navy athletes able to attend this year the Inter-Service Race the team race was between the Army and the Royal Air Force. I am also pleased to report that Group Captain Russ La Forte the Honington Commanding Officer set a superb example by participating in the race.

Honington 10K get underway It should also be noted that runners from as far afield as RAF Aldergrove, Spadeadam and Boulmer had also made the necessary arrangements to compete and represent their respective units.

Mr Stan Cox 87-years –young started the Honington race. Stan, who has lived in Felixstowe for 25 years served in the RAF Regiment and was an Great Britain International from 1939-1956. Stan competed in the London Olympics of 1948, racing on the track over 10,000m and four years later he ran the Olympic marathon in Helsinki. He also represented his country at the Commonwealth Games of 1954, which were held in Vancouver, Canada. Stan has a lifetime marathon best of 2 hours 18 minutes. I also understand that he has written to Lord Sebastian Coe at the National Olympic Committee asking for him to be considered as a potential candidate to light the Olympic Torch at London in 2012. If he is successful in his quest remember where you saw him first!

Honington 10K athletes in action The race was held in overcast but very humid conditions. The RAF had assembled a useful squad but was unable to call on the services of Matt Blunden, Ben Livesey, Lee Athersmith and Tom Bailey – all unavailable but for very good reasons. The Army team was also in a similar position not being able to secure all of their leading runners. So the team race looked to be wide open.

The race winner was Gunner Craig Williams (Army) in a time of 32 min28 sec, closely followed 2 seconds later by Flt Lt Matt Whitfield (RAF Boulmer) maintaining his road form after recent Mountain Running Exploits in Italy and fell races in England. Sgt Kev Sheppard (Army) was third 1 second behind Matt. It should be explained that Craig had broken clear around the 8km mark but took an unscheduled detour close to the finish. The leading three runners then sensibly took the correct and sporting decision to regroup and finish in the correct order.

RAF Honington 10K sprint finish The leading lady was Mrs Jordan representing a local civilian club in 37 min 39 sec. The Inter-Service Ladies Champion was Cpl Issy Menzies (Army) 38 min 08 sec. The Inter Service Ladies Race was clean sweep for the Army with Capt Brown second in 38 min 27 sec and third Sgt Kelly Hanniver 41 min 04 sec. The leading ladies veteran in the Honington “Open Race” was Jenny Wren from Brampton 42 min 12 sec. The leading RAF finisher was Sqn Ldr Jo Roe in 44 min 58 sec. The Inter-Service Veteran Title was won by Wing Commander Dave Cole 5th overall 33min 43 sec, second was Sgt Duncan Bell Army 10th overall and third Capt Young 17th overall.

The Inter-Service team race was extremely close. It is summarised below:

1stCraig Williams2ndMatt Whitfield
3rdKev Sheppard5thDave Cole
4thCapt Whitinam6thIan Bailey
7thDave Branfoot8thKieran White
11thDuncan Bell9thAndy Fisher
12thGunner Williams10thDan Lewis

ARMY total of 38 points. RAF total of 40 Points

RAF Honington 10K Race I would like to thank the following:

Group Captain Russ La Forte - the Honington Commanding Officer for once again allowing Honington to host the Inter-Services and RAF 10km Road Race Championships.

Group Captain Richard Gammage the new RAF Athletics Association Chairman for his support and attendance on the day.

Cpl Steve Robinson who ably stepped into WO Pete Golding’s shoes to organise the event.

Finally I also congratulate all athletes on the spirit in which they conducted themselves on the day.

Results provided by Running Imp - Mark Granger.



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