15 July 2021

Guest Blogger Sarah Charters

Sarah is part of a 19-strong team of RAF Reserves who have been completing marathons in honour of their colleague James.

James was originally taking part in the London Marathon in October to celebrate the year he beat cancer, but sadly in May he found out that not only had the cancer returned, it was now terminal.

To help him smash his fundraising, his colleagues vowed to complete their own marathons in his honour. 

Here, team member Sarah tells us how they got on...

The RAF Reserves have a very strong sense of military family. James has been part of our family for ten years and is a treasured friend to all. We go through thick and thin together, in so many different situations, locations and ways. We are exceptionally proud to stand by James now.  

What James has given back to us as individuals is the resolve to undertake personally challenging fitness regimes, to push ourselves to achieve something fantastic in his honour, to always put others before self and in doing so he is an outstanding role model and leader.

19 RAF Reserves all completed the marathon

We were so sad when we heard James could no longer complete his own marathon. Our flight had been very excited for him when we heard he was going to run in London. We have a very close knit team and so we all wanted to do everything we could to support James and create some positivity in a very difficult situation. Helping him to smash his fundraising target seemed the obvious choice.

Nineteen members of 4626 Squadron completed their marathon for James challenge on Sunday [11 July]. The event has inspired other squadron members to start their own marathon challenge, so the fundraising is ongoing.

Our regular colleagues in Tactical Medical Wing have also offered their support and are completing a treadmill marathon for James. James’ story has been shared across the wider RAF social media platforms and is now also being shared by the Headquarters of the Defence Medical Services.

James and our Officer Commanding (Wg Cdr Banks) joined us at the start and finish of the run on Sunday. James is incredibly inspiring and shared his love of running (and scrambled eggs) with us.

What is truly incredible about James is how he always thinks of others before himself. His desire to give back to those who supported him through his cancer diagnosis and treatment has resonated with us all and so we are truly honoured to be part of Team James to support Above & Beyond.

Click here to sponsor the team

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