Our Regional Fundraiser for the South, Heather Kemp, is no stranger to taking up a challenge for the RAF Benevolent fund. But this April, she's stepping things up a gear…
She explains: "I have never done anything of this magnitude before; in fact the only fund-raising challenge I have completed on behalf of the Fund was a tandem skydive about five years ago when I was strapped to an ex-Signals soldier! But running the Reading Half Marathon in April will be a completely different kettle of fish. I spend most hours of the week asking people to get involved with events and fundraising for the Fund, so I thought it was about time I joined them myself!"
With the half marathon only eight weeks away, Heather is wasting no time in preparing for what looks set to be her biggest challenge yet.
She said: "I am running about three to four times a week, with a BMF (British Military Fitness) session once a week. My longest run to date is seven miles and I plan to increase it by one mile each week until I have reached about 11, before winding down again in the approach to the actual event."
"I won't lie," Heather admits. "Training is tough as you have to be very disciplined clocking up the miles. It's daunting though; for me, at least; to imagine sustaining a certain running pace for 13 miles, and indeed to complete the whole 13 miles."
Coerced in the Officer's Mess by a Wing Commander based at RAF Benson, who had entered a 100-strong team in the Reading Half Marathon last year, Heather promptly found herself signed up for the feat.
"Admittedly, alcohol played a small part in my consent to join them this year! I felt it was time to rise up to the plate and put myself through what I have asked others to do on the Fund’s behalf over the years in my current role as fundraiser."
But whatever the reason, Heather has committed herself to reaching her goal, whilst raising an admirable amount for the Fund: "I have set myself the rather ambitious target of £1,000! I am practising what I preach on a daily basis to those who approach the Fund to take part in a challenge. The general feeling among friends and family is that I am mad but they genuinely admire what I am about to put myself through at my exalted age!"
Heather will keep us updated as she nears April 3, and if you would like to sponsor her for such valiant efforts, please click here and help make a real difference to our beneficiaries.