Menu Donate Request our help

Helpline: 0300 102 1919

147 miles in memory

Jo Kilkenny and Anthony DowningSquadron Leader Anthony Downing died in December from injuries sustained in Afghanistan. His friend, Jo Kilkenny, is running 147 miles in his memory to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Jo tells us more in this blog.

The Viking Way Ultra is a 147 mile race that is starting on 7 April and runs through Lincolnshire past several RAF stations, past and present. It is a non-stop race and has a cut off of 40 hours.

I am one of 34 runners who have been selected to participate in this tough event organised by ultrarunner, Mark Cockbain.

The event is self sufficient, meaning I'm not allowed any supporting crew, with basic stuff being provided at checkpoints every 15-18 miles.

I am doing this race in memory of Squadron Leader Anthony Downing who died of injuries sustained in Afghanistan over Christmas.

Ant was a good friend and a talented endurance athlete. I met him when I crewed at the Enduroman Double Ironman in 2009 and I was lucky enough to have him in my life.

Anyone who knew him would describe him as a true gent. He was a kind, generous and modest guy who lived life to the full. His only weakness was the copious amounts of tea he drank - his only addiction. He normally couldn't open his eyes in the morning until he had his first cuppa, which always made me laugh!

Ant was a talented runner and cyclist. He cycled across the States in 25 days – a fact he was pretty modest about. He was an all round great guy and his death leaves a void in many people’s lives.

Those who worked with him both liked and respected him and his loss will be felt for a long time, so to honour his memory I am raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Please give generously to a very good cause in honour of a very good man.

By Jo Kilkenny

Sign up to receive the RAFBF e-newsletter