RAF Boulmer instructor all set for London Marathon debut
A Royal Air Force instructor based at RAF Boulmer is making his debut in the London Marathon.
In completing the challenge, Flt Lt Darren Luke will raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
Darren, 33, is an air surveillance trainer within 20 Squadron.
He has entered the ballot for the last 10 years but this is the first time he’s been successful in securing a place for Sunday’s event.
He said: “My children love the Airplay play parks near our home and attend the Ben Club and Airplay youth clubs, all of which the RAF Benevolent Fund help provide – as a parent it’s great to know there are safe spaces for the kids to play in.
"I don't plan on leaving the RAF soon, but knowing the Fund will be there to offer support in transitioning to civilian life should I need it, gives me peace of mind.”
It will be Darren’s second marathon, having tackled the Snowdonia event in 2008.
"I didn't appreciate how hard it would be and I suffered for it,” he recalled. “I got cramp in both calves and hamstrings at the 26-mile marker and spent some time stretching just so I could complete the last 400m.
"It’s safe to say I’ve learnt my lesson after that! I’m really competitive and find it hard to stick to my own pace, so I plan on checking my pace at every mile so I don't go out too fast and end up with double cramp again.”
The RAF Benevolent Fund provides financial, practical and emotional support to the whole of the RAF Family, both serving personnel and veterans, as well as their partners and dependants.
Michelle Jeffcott, community fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “We are so incredibly grateful for Darren’s support, which will allow the Fund to continue to be there for the whole of the RAF Family for years to come.
"By taking on this gruelling challenge, Darren is not only helping raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund; he’s also helping to raise awareness of the support the Fund offers to other veterans, serving personnel, and their families.”
To donate to Darren’s fundraiser, please visit virginmoneygiving.com/19924_8569412_18466