After entering the ballot for seven consecutive years, Richard Bazley, of Woolwich, is finally set to run the London Marathon this weekend and will be raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Richard will join nine other runners who will take on the 26.2 mile course in aid of the Fund.
As a former county runner for the East of England, Richard has always had an interest in running. Richard, 25, is excited about taking on this huge challenge and has set himself a sub four hour target finish time. Following the news that he had gained a place, Richard gave up alcohol and has since lost two and a half stone during his training.
Richard, who works at Arsenal Football Club as a Hospitality Manager, has a strong RAF connection with both of his grandfathers previously serving in the RAF.
Corporal Kenneth Richard Bazley, who Richard was named after, sadly passed away in 2012 but was able to share his memories of how he joined the RAF to complete his National Service and served for three years. His other grandfather, Joseph Morris, who is 85, will be joining the Bazley family and cheering him along on the day.
Richard said: "My two grandfathers both served in the RAF, one who is sadly no longer with us; but I wanted to give something back on their behalf.
"I applied every year for a place in the London Marathon, so when I was finally successful I knew I wanted to do it for the RAF Benevolent Fund. With my family's RAF connection, it seemed fitting that I honour them whilst achieving my goal of running my first marathon."
To date, Richard has raised more than £600 for the Fund, encouraging his colleagues to support him by getting involved in his office sweepstake. If you would like to support Richard, you can sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/Richard-Bazley.