Fund-raising trio smash their target

Three runners who notched up more than three marathon distances in just five days have more than doubled their fund-raising target in aid of two Battle of Britain charities.

Author and top Battle of Britain Memorial Trust supporter Jonny Cracknell was joined by Chris Marsh and Chris Scott on their 80-plus mile sponsored run to mark the 80th anniversary of the 1940 aerial conflict.

Driver Iain Willis was another vital member of the team as it ran from the headquarters of the Aircraft Restoration Company in Duxford to the Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, via more than a dozen stops at places with RAF or Battle of Britain links.

Their initial fund-raising target was £3,000 – in recognition of the almost-3,000 men who fought in the Battle of Britain and are now known as ‘the Few’.

Public support for their remarkable run, though, has seen the total raised to date hit almosts £7,000, and the team is hoping that their efforts will continue to inspire people to donate.

“I’m very tired but proud of what we have achieved,” said Jonny on Friday as they reached the site, accompanied on the last leg of the journey – from the Kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge – by his wife Sharne

From Duxford the runners visited Fowlmere, Debden, North Weald, Hornchurch, Biggin Hill, Kenley, Croydon, Uxbridge, the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt, Bentley Priory, Tangmere and Manston before reaching Hawkinge and then the Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne.

“It’s been an incredible week. “We’ve met some amazing people and have managed to exceed our fund-raising target, which is great news for our chosen charities, the museum at Hawkinge and the Memorial Trust. “Our aim was to raise awareness of the importance of the Battle of Britain and the sacrifices of the Few in this anniversary year and I’m delighted that we were able to do that. It’s important to say that we couldn’t have done it without Iain.”

The team, which won the support of the last known surviving member of the Few, Group Captain John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway DFC, stoppoed to lay memorial crosses at the resting places of many of the Few en route.

Supporters can sponsor the team by visiting Jonny’s page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/battleofbritain80

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