5 Marathons in 5 Days : Robin's Reasons

On 8 May Robin Southwell and Alan Coppin, two Museum Trustees, will set off from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford to walk five marathons in five days, reaching the Museum’s London site 130 miles later.

In this blog Robin Southwell discusses with Sarah Brothers the challenge that lays ahead for both him and Alan.

Alan and Robin's 5 Marathons in 5 Days Poster

S.B: You are walking five marathons in five days from Cosford to London to raise money for the Museum’s RAF Centenary programme, how did you come up with this idea?

R.S: As members of the Museum’s Board of Trustees we are often discussing what other people can do in order to raise money for the Museum and how best the executive team should work to raise funds.  We were at times very quick to tell others what to do and then we sort of looked at each other and said, ‘Hang on a minute. Why don’t we do something to raise money?’ So suddenly we were making a plan of what we could do to raise money ourselves. We came up with the idea of walking from RAF Museum Cosford to the London site and we thought it would be a really good statement to make that we were willing to do such a challenge ourselves to raise funds for the Museum. To be honest we didn’t think it was going to be so far when we started planning, but we’re going to walk from one Museum to the other and hopefully raise lots of money in the process.

S.B: How much have you raised so far and what amount would you like to raise overall? 

We hope to raise to £100,000. Since launching the campaign last month we have raised £25,000 which has mainly come from people that we know but we are hoping to increase that through donations from the wider public. 

The more people hear about this very challenging walk that two middle aged men are about to undertake, the more we hope to capture the imagination of a broad group of people who will be happy to donate to this fundraising challenge be they individuals, groups or businesses.

Alan in training at his home gymAnother picture of Alan training on a bench-press in his home gym

How much training have you done for this challenge? 

It’s difficult to get enough training, I’m talking a really good training session. I’ve got lots of spread sheets, and Alan and I have organised lots of maps and spread sheets in preparation but of course it’s all about putting your foot on the ground and covering the miles. We’ve both done a few miles and by the time of the walk we will have got ourselves in good condition.  But, quite frankly, after the second day of doing two marathons consecutively and with three still to go it’s going to be as much mind over matter than the ability for us to put training in.

Robin on a training walk in the AlgarveRobin on a training walk in the Algarve

S.B: Why should people support this fundraising effort? How can they sponsor you both?

R.S: I think if there is one thing that defines our nation over the last 100 years it is the work, effort, successes and contribution of the RAF and its people. A centenary anniversary obviously doesn’t come around that often and we’re in a privileged position - both the Trustees and all those who work at the Museum - to really go that extra mile to raise funds not only to show our country but also to show the world that the RAF is, and has proved to be, a force for good in the world.  

The work that everyone is doing at the moment to raise significant funds for the Museum is in order to put the RAF story on display on the right platform together with its values, ethics and ethos showing what the RAF has actually achieved throughout its history. The Museum will show all of our visitors what the RAF means and how they can play a part in protecting the iconic institution of our country. 

An artist's impression of the entrance to First 100 Years of the RAF exhibition

S.B: What are your aspirations for the Museum as we approach the RAF Centenary in 2018?

Every penny raised will be going to the Museum’s RAF Centenary Campaign. Alan and I will be covering any and all costs that arise as part of this challenge. The RAF has kindly offered to put us up for the night at different bases along the route, so that’s our accommodation sorted, and they are fully behind us in this challenge as is our sponsor Spitfire Kentish Ale who has kindly donated some beer - which can only help us during this venture!

All of us in the Museum are committed to ensuring that the RAF Museum is able to effectively tell the story of the RAF to the public during its Centenary year. What greater honour is there than that? 

So in the run up to the RAF’s 100th year both Alan and I happen to be in a position to do something to help raise money to mark the occasion. You could say we have made the decision to go that extra mile. If you would like to donate to this challenge you can donate online here. All the money raised will be going to the RAF Museum's RAF Centenary Programme.
Alan and Robin enjoying a can of Shepherd Neame's Spitfire Ale, after a gruelling planning session at the Museum 

Shepherd Neame's Spitifire Kentish Ale Logo
Alan and Robin's 5 Marathons in 5 Days is proudly supported by Spitfire Kentish Ale


Sarah Brothers, Communications Executive : Audience Development
About the Author

Sarah Brothers, Communications Executive : Audience Development

My role is to develop and deliver growth and retention in the Museum’s target audiences. I am also the Co-Editor of RADAR and I am responsible for the evaluation of all activities at both of the Museum's sites.

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