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5 Marathons in 5 Days: Day 5 - Alan's Account

Day 5 - the final day of the walk
Just woken up in the VIP suite at RAF Wycombe before the last day and checked the weather-maybe a bit of rain  so I will take my light weatherproof jacket and a poncho for Robin.

Alan and Robin's photocall before setting off from High Wycombe

Overnight the proofs for my new book arrived on my devices from the publisher, Palgrave Macmillan. A bit frustrating really as I won't be able to start reviewing  and correcting until Tuesday (family stuff tomorrow, event for SGSA Sunday and SGSA Board meeting on Monday.)

But an easier day is in prospect - we had already planned less miles in order to get to the Museum's London site for around 4.00 pm so Robin can do media interviews. For some reason last evening I started calling Robin Rodney and the guests at the dinner suggested this was because there was a psychological link with the character who appeared in the Only Fools and Horses TV programme. Apparently Rodney played Robin in the 1996 Heroes and Villains episode??

Alan and Robin arriving at our London site  with CEO Maggie Appleton who joined them on their last day
After breakfast Rodney I mean Robin is doing a joint radio interview with Robert, the station commander. I will have to wear my compression socks again in order to keep the medial tibial strain syndrome in order...

Robin, Alison Gaynor and James (the Station Commander's  son will then drive to the rendez-vous point to meet up with Malcolm White another Trustee and Sophie who works at the Museum for the final leg. 
The Walk
After a hearty, if inappropriate, breakfast in the Officer’s Mess at RAF High Wycombe we had some snaps taken in front of a Spitfire and left for a rendezvous with Malcolm White out esteemed Trustee who was joining us along with James, son of the RAF High Wycombe Station Commander and Alison, Robin’s partner.
Staff getting ready to greet Alan and Robin before they arrive
We walked initially through some lovely countryside - a horse in a leopard coat ran from our photos - up a few hills and along the waterside. We then went urban and, thankfully, all the roads had pavements. It was good for us both to engage other people in conversation and there was still plenty of Alan/Robin banter but it was a bit more subdued.

Maggie, CEO of the Museum, joined us for the last hour of the walk despite dodgy knees. The comic highlight was definitely seeing Robin in the black poncho which I had acquired and carried for him - - from behind he looked like a rather crumpled Batman, so Batman and Robin in one go!!

Alan and Robin with fellow Trustee Malcolm White, who joined them for the final day
The highlight of the day was definitely the welcome given to us by our colleagues in London - a First World War ambulance greeted us at the entrance which, fortuitously we did not need - pain killers and compression socks had done the trick on my ills and Robin, well he just didn’t have any. We were cheered through the gates and accompanied on the last part of the walk inside the Museum where again we were met with applause. Maggie made a great speech and we were presented with medals by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Martin H.C. Russell who also made a short speech.

Gaynor was presented with a bouquet of flowers for her sterling support work throughout the week. Robin, unscripted then responded on behalf of us both - he really should think about politics….
Robin Southwell (left) making a speech underneath our Lancaster with Alan Coppin (right)
We then enjoyed some pork pies and prosecco before Gaynor, my son Ed (who had travelled to Hendon) left for home. Ed and I (Chelsea Shed End Upper supporters) were looking forward to watching Chelsea play West Bromwich Albion Friday evening - if we win, we win the Premiership - and enjoying some Spitfire Ale.
Pork Pies and Prosecco beneath the Lancaster Bomber
Currently the amount raised stands at just over £30k.

The shortness of this blog reflects the fact that tiredness has set in a bit but we will do a reflective piece on the highlights and low lights in a day or two before completely putting the event to bed.

Thanks for reading our blogs over the last few days. If you could help us reach our target of raising £100,000 for the Museum's RAF Centenary Project both Alan and I would welcome your donations.

The Spitfire Kentish Ale logo
Alan and Robin's 5 Marathons in 5 Days is proudly sponsored by
Shepherd Neame's 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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