Royal Air Force runner Darren Mitchell will join thousands of others pounding the streets of the capital for the 2019 London Marathon later this month, in support of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the RAF's leading welfare charity.
The 40-year-old Aircraft Engineer from Leeds, currently stationed at RAF Brize Norton, will run this year’s event on April 28 to mark the centenary of the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Finally securing a spot in this year's London Marathon, after trying for six years, Darren is thrilled to join the crowd of running fundraisers and is now in the middle of his 17-week advanced training program.
Chief Technician Darren Mitchell said: "I am honoured to be raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, and to celebrate their centenary year! The charity is integral to the entire RAF family, whether you're a serving or ex-serving member, or a partner, parent or child of someone who has had the privilege of serving in the RAF."
Darren has served in the RAF for 19 years and during that time has served in Afghanistan, taking part in the repatriation of fallen servicemen and women, and aeromedical evacuations from conflict areas, as well as working on the C17 Globemaster with 99 Squadron.
"I have witnessed first-hand the effects that conflict can have on people, and how spilt-second occurrences have life changing consequences. Supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund is my way of continuing that same support to some of the people that I was honoured to bring home," says Darren.
Charlotte Barmby, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "Fundraisers like Darren are an inspiration to us all here at the Fund. He has served his country and now he is determined to give something back by supporting our charity. As we celebrate the Fund’s centenary year, we hope to reach out to more members of the RAF and their families to let them know that we are here for them, should they ever need us."
Last year, the RAF Benevolent Fund supported more than 55,000 people with a wide range of welfare needs, from relationship counselling, to the Airplay youth support scheme and care home top up fees for elderly RAF veterans.
To sponsor Darren in the London Marathon 2019, visit his JustGiving page.