Corporal's 100 marathon effort for RAF welfare charity

AN air force corporal aiming to do 100 marathons to raise cash for the RAF's leading welfare charity has now completed number 80 in Perth.

Corporal Jon Ward after completing his 80th marathon in Perth. Picture: Contributed

Jon Ward, who is based at RAF Lossiemouth, got the running bug after completing his first marathon in 2007.

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He’s now aiming to become part of the exclusive 100 Marathon Club while paying homage to his career in the RAF.

Jon’s last marathon falls on April 1 next year, the 100th birthday of the service.

He completed the Perth Marathon on Sunday in 3hrs 18min 42sec.

His next race will be on 29 October in Frankfurt when he hopes to beat his PB and go under three hours.

He has to take a few weeks’ break due to work commitments.

Following on from that will be 10 in 10 at the end of November when he will tackle 10 marathons in 10 days. He’s also planning a 40-mile ultra marathon the same month.

Jon said: “I have been fortunate that I have never needed support from the RAF Benevolent Fund.

“But being a serving member of the RAF, I see first hand how the charity supports the entire RAF family, so it seemed like a natural fit for me to raise funds for them.

“And who knows, after I’ve completed this challenge my legs may give up so I may need their help after all.”

Jon’s marathon effort at the weekend comes on the back of a 36.5-mile ultra marathon in Speyside two weeks ago, the longest distance Jon has run to date.

He added: “I enjoyed the run, even thought I had a problem with my knee. It’s not put me off doing more ultra marathons.

“When this challenge is complete I’m hoping to do a 100-mile or even a 200-mile run next year.”

Jon’s busy job as a Logistics Mover means he has been able to take part in marathons around the world including Greece, America, the Caribbean and the Falklands.

As a result he’s become an accomplished runner, improving on his first marathon time of 4:56:00 in 2007 to a personal best of 3:01:00.

Louise Gibson, Head of Fundraising at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “Without the generous support of people like Jon we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do, supporting retired and serving RAF personnel and their families in everything from financial difficulties to mobility aids.

“Having taken part in a marathon myself I know how much training and hard work goes in to it but I cannot imagine taking on 100.”

In 2016 they spent £17.6m supporting more than 65,000 member of the RAF Family.