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5 Marathons in 5 Days : 2 Trustees

As we countdown to Alan and Robin’s 5 Marathons in 5 Days, Alan Coppin explains in this blog the motivations and trepidations of walking 130 miles in 5 days.

For those of you who don’t know me, please let me quickly introduce myself. Currently in addition to being a Trustee of the RAF Museum I chair the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and I am a Patron of Windsor Leadership Trust. Also Palgrave Macmillan will publish The Human Capital Imperative at the end of May - a business book they commissioned me to write (so a busy time).

As part of his #5Marathonsin5Days training Alan walked 14.5 miles from Marlow to Windsor as part of training and called in to see Lesley king-lewis and Jonathan Story of Windsor Leadership Trust,

My motivations for wanting to do this walk are numerous. Prior to joining the Museum I was privileged to serve (as a non executive director) on the Boards of Air Command and the RAF Board where I saw at first hand the incredible work the RAF does for our country. Both Robin and I feel it important that there is a fitting tribute to the RAF at Hendon in time for their Centenary. Our aim is to raise £100,000 for the Museum’s Centenary Programme and we both wanted to do something different and in a practical way, getting out from behind the boardroom table and which would demonstrate the commitment of the Museum’s Trustees.

The other Trustees have provided phenomenal support by donating, assisting with the planning and promotion of #5Marathonsin5Days and three Trustees - Sir Glenn Torpy (our Chairman), Nick Sanders and Malcolm White - will actually walk with us on individual stages.
What the new entrance to the Museum will look like once completed
We have also been delighted by the help that we have received from the RAF itself and from our our colleagues at the Royal Air Force Museum and sister charities, particularly the RAF Club, and, of course, we are incredibly grateful to the donors to the cause who have given over £25,000 to date.

Also, I must mention the great support from Gaynor, my wife, who has had to put up with all my aches and pains during training and who will be in the support car and taking care of Robin and me for the whole 5 Days.

A typical day's training for Alan, according to his Fit-Bit!

Training is going relatively well. I’ve lost over a stone in weight, I believe Robin has lost quite a bit of weight himself and both of us have invested in really good trainers, which we have worn in,  and great socks!! When possible I walk every day to Coopers in Marlow, my favourite artisan coffee shop, from my home which is 5 miles - there and back. But for the last month I have stepped this up a bit by doing longer walks to Windsor and Henley from home - over 10 miles each day. Thankfully I have had no blisters as yet, but my legs can be a bit stiff after each walk!!

My only problem has been ‘medial tibial strain syndrome’ (which sounds more impressive than ‘shin splints’!) in my left leg, which are quite painful but I seem to have sorted them out by resting between each walk, something that I won’t be able to do during the 5 days of Marathons. Both Robin and I will be walking the equivalent of a marathon a day, and the big challenge will be for both of us to keep the pace and humour going for 5 days without a real rest in between!! I am confident that we will do it., actually we have to!!! 

Alan in his favourite Coffee Shop, Coopers of Marlow
I am looking forward to walking with Robin as (at least prior to the walk) we get on well and have very similar senses of humour and approaches to life. Hopefully, the banter will keep us going. It will be interesting to see if we both feel the same by the end of the walk!!
It will be great to stay at RAF Cosford, RAF Halton and RAF High Wycombe en route and meeting with our RAF Colleagues at each of them.  Robin and I will be sinking a couple of pints of Shepherd Neame’s Spitfire Ale each night. As part of our sponsorship deal, the folks at Shepherd Neame as well as kindly donating £1,000 to our campaign have offered us a supply of their best Kentish Spitfire Ale to revive any flagging stamina or spirits at the end of each day!!

Alan enjoying a pint of Spitfire Ale expertly poured by Craig in Shepherd and Neame's Royal Hotel, Deal in Kent.

Robin will be interviewed each evening to let listeners to know how we are doing, starting on the evening of the 8 May and this can be accessed via the Museum's blog series.

If you would like to support us in our aim, the simplest way to do so is to make a donation or by sending us messages of support to the Museum’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels using #5Marathonsin5Days
An artist's impression of Alan and Robin's journey

Shepherd Neame's Spitifire Kentish Ale Logo

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

Alan Coppin : Museum Trustee
About the Author

Alan Coppin : Museum Trustee

I have had an extensive career in the private, public and non profit sectors. After leaving a senior management consultant role at KMPG, I became CEO of international leisure company Wembley plc before becoming CEO and government accounting Officer for Royal Historic Palaces. Currently, I am a trustee of the Royal Air Force Museum and hold a number of advisory roles as well as chairing the Sports Grounds Safety Authority.

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