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Launching the Baton

Eventually the rain hit us as dawn approached (and how!), but there was hardly a word from the team – other than to joke about it – amazing people!

Saturday Nov 7th the team gathered in the evening a definite air of excitement and anticipation, they then boarded the crew bus and support vehicle and set off for RAF Lyneham.
The station personnel at RAF Lyneham were very supportive and accommodating, the team were photographed in front of a 30 Squadron Hercules by our photographer Andy Billing, wished the very best of luck by Flt Lt Huw Thomas and other members of 30 Sqn who then cheered the team off at 2200  the objective the National Memorial Arboretum Lichfield to enter the Armed forces Memorial at 14.30 on the Sunday – sixteen and a half hours to do the 110 miles.
The whole team were incredible, considering that few knew the other members of the team at the start, a shared belief in the Baton’s cause, meant the team gelled fabulously through the whole event.
A lasting team memory would be running along the ancient Fosseway in the still, dead black of night, the air unseasonably close the leaves of the trees falling with just the lights of the support vehicle behind to show the runner the way, torrential rain hit as dawn approached but there was hardly a word from the team – other than to joke about it!
Running steadily as a relay the team had made extremely good time and were two and a half hours ahead of target, the time in hand  was used to sort wet gear and equipment, also giving the people travelling up to see the team arrive.
This was a super achievement by a team of such mixed running abilities,  the team will certainly remember the reception at the NMA. the family and friends who had made the effort to be there, visitors and the management going out of their way to see the team in, a squad of Army Cadets even formed a guard of honour at the steps of the Armed Forces Memorial,  an emotional moment for all.
A huge thank you to BBC’s Jenny Walrond who did a stirling job staying with the team and filming the whole run, after saying our farewells all headed home, a little tired by now but with a great sense of achievement at the start of… Keeping the message alive!.

Alan.