Kimberley runner prepares for fourth London Marathon effort
Kimberley resident Jon Bartles will put in a marathon effort this Sunday as he takes on the virtual London Marathon.
The former RAF ground electrician will support five charities close to his heart with the run, including the RAF’s leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The 40-year-old, who lives in Stirling Grove in the town, served for 11 years with the RAF before leaving in 2008.
He now works as an engineering site manager for Knapp based in Nottingham.
He said: “During my RAF career I was lucky enough not to need the support of the RAF Benevolent Fund but I saw for myself the impact the charity has.
“When I gave up football about 10 years ago, I needed something to keep me fit so I took up running.
“I’ve since done three London Marathons. This one will be different, as it’s virtual.
“At first I thought it would be easy as I could run where I liked, then I realised wherever you run in Nottingham there is a hill!
“But I am looking forward to my friends and family joining me for the last six miles, you wouldn’t be able to do that if it was the actual race in London.”
Jon has been clocking up the miles during his training, regularly travelling around 25 miles a week.
Many of those were completed under the cover of darkness as Jon decided to take on his long training runs in the early hours of the morning to reduce disruption to his family life.
He added: “I used to get up at 2am and then be out running by 3am. That way I’d be back by 6am ready for the kids to get up and start their day.
“I won’t be aiming for a time on the day, I’m just going to enjoy it – if it takes me five hours, so be it.”
Aaron Tillyer, community fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, added: “We are so incredibly grateful for Jon’s support, which will allow the fund to continue to be there for the whole of the RAF Family for years to come.
“By taking on this gruelling challenge, Jon is not only helping raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, he’s also helping to raise awareness of the support the fund offers to other veterans, serving personnel, and their families.”