AUO Power’s virtual London Marathon for the charity Petals

AUO Power’s virtual London Marathon for the charity Petals

8 October 2021

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Our former Regimental Sergeant Major, Adult Under Officer Russ Power, has dedicated his whole career to Army and Cadet service, meeting many different kinds of challenges, both mental and physical, along the way. A personal tragedy in 2019 set him on the path to a new challenge, completing the 26.2 mile long London Marathon (virtually).

In October 2019, AUO Power lost his baby grandson, Finley, at the age of just six weeks. Finley’s parents were understandably devastated, and our own Commandant, Colonel Deacon (a professional midwife) recommended the services of the baby loss counselling charity PETALS. PETALS went on to provide extraordinary support to Finley’s parents, providing invaluable help to them at an exceptionally difficult time. AUO Power wanted to recognise the contribution the charity had made to his family’s welfare by fundraising for them.

Promotional image for Russ's fundraising. Picture: Doug Stuart

Looking for a challenge, he settled on the idea of running the London Marathon virtually. He was strongly supported by his ACF colleagues in both promoting his efforts and sponsorship. On 3rd October AUO Power completed the distance by running around the Waterbeach area and along the A10, carrying a hydration pack and with his wife and daughter supporting him (including cycling alongside him for an eight mile stretch) and supplying him with fluids.

Russ at Waterbeach CTC, with senior staff cheering him on. Picture: Doug Stuart

He took a slight detour into the Waterbeach Cadet Training Centre where he was greeted and applauded by the Commandant, Deputy Commandants and the RSM. He used an app that informed him where he would be along the London route, and helped him to imagine the crowds who might be showing their support. This was a particularly difficult aspect of the challenge, running through rural areas and lacking the real crowds and trying to imagine them, AUO Power commented that, instead of the cheering crowds, in reality ‘there was just a cow.’ He was greatly helped by the mental and physical preparations he had made, including regular training (complicated by the need to not exacerbate existing injuries) and the resilience he had developed through many years in the army.

Russ during his run. Picture: Doug Stuart

He completed the distance in 5 hours, 1 minute and 26 seconds, and raised an impressive £775. He said; ‘I really enjoyed the challenge, and plan to do it again next year.’

Supportive card sent to Russ by the charity.

Commandant Colonel Deacon said; ‘It was fantastic for UO Power to stop by the weekend training centre during his virtual London Marathon. I know that the charity PETALS has supported his family in the past and he has raised a wonderful amount for them. All the cadets and adults of Cambs ACF are proud of his achievement.’

Text by PI Doug Stuart

Fundraising page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.c...