On Sunday 25 October RAF Reservist Allan Dillon took part in the Great South Run to raise money for our work. In this guest blog, Allan tells us why he chose to run in aid of our charity.
I decided to run this year's Great South Run because a few members of my Squadron (600 [City of London]) take part every year and I was due to tak part a couple of years ago but had to pull out the week before.
This was due to my father passing away that week. So this time I was determined to run it not only for the RAF Benevolent Fund but in memory of my father as he always encouraged me to push myself onwards through any challenge. He inspired me and made me the person I am today.
To prepare for the race I did lots of running in my loca area of Stevenage and I also took part in other races; a half marathon in Clumber Park and a 10k obstacle race in Chester.
I started my fundraising with a target of £300 and it was initially going well. Then I had a bit of a drop in people donating. However in the last few weeks I managed to get more donations from friends and family which took me over my target. I am so pleased I managed to reach it as I know it will be well spent by the Fund.
The best part of the race was the support I got from both the RAF Benevolent Fund volunteers cheering everyone on and also the crowd lining the streets. It's amazing the boost you get when someone spots your name on your number bib and gives you a shout out and encouragement. I had quite a few of those on the way and after the seven-mile point they were a great boost as I was flagging a little.
Then the last mile marker was the icing on the cake for me. I saw it and then looked at my watch to check what time I had left to hit my goal of racing under 1 hour 30 minutes. It said 1 hour 18 minutes, that spurred me on and the memory of my father made me feel a little emotional but I pushed through the tiredness crossing the finish line at 1 hour 27 minutes.
I was so happy I had reached my goal which was always to run under an hour and a half.
If you are thinking of raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund then I'd say to you, why not set yourself a challenge that's something you would not normally do? Then make sure to get all your contacts to donate as much as possible. For instance you could organise a collection at work or that the gym and you could put on small fundraising event. It will all help.
By Allan Dillon