Help For Heroes Charity Event, (Commando Run) ‘Operation Market Garden.’

Today the team was out in strength to support the Help For Heroes Charity Event, (Commando Run) fundraising event taking place from the summit of Winter Hill to Bolton Town Centre.

A number of serving British Army soldiers and GMP Officers took part, all carrying a 36lb rucksac and running the course in boots !

The day started for us with our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE attending the 08.00hrs morning briefing for all taking part at GMP Farnworth Police Station.
At this stage the weather was torrential rain in Farnworth, with all the runners thoughts on the considerably worse conditions on Winter Hill summit.
The main element of the team met at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ for a thorough 09.00hrs briefing, and in the continuing rain we headed off to Winter Hill summit to meet the supporting GMP Officers, and the runners from GMP and the Army.

With poor visibility and still heavy rain, all runners were keen to get the photo session over with and to set off on their run.

The assembled masses of Her Majesties Forces & GMP

As they all set off around 10.15hrs from the Winter Hill Transmitter Station, thankfully the weather started to improve, and with Team vehicles and Police vehicles escorting all the runners down the ’mast’ road, the sun even started to come out!

…and they’re off…

Team members then guided the runners onto the moorland section of their course, providing marshalls at each turn of direction, with all the runners safely coming out onto the moorland edge road of Coal Pits Lane.
Joint with GMP we provided a safe crossing across Scout Road, and continued to escort the lead runners and support the rear runners as they ran down Smithills Dean Road and onto Halliwell Road.

All the runners then assembled on George Street, Bolton, where GMP closed one lane of the road for the Team to provide a Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance Escort front and rear, for the runners to enter Victoria Square, in front of the Town Hall, Bolton, at exactly 12.00 noon.

…Garry Rhodes with a Sea Cadet & Marine Cadet …

Here Sea Cadets, Marine Cadets, Army Cadets, members of GMP and the team, along with members of the public greeted the runners to much cheers, applause and flag waving as they entered together in smart running order, onto the Town Hall Square. (Victoria Square)

…the crowds appluad the runners as they enter the square…

With Tower FM radio providing a running commentary, all the runners to continuing applause came to a stop at the base of the Town Hall steps.
Here they were met by a welcoming party of dignitaries including the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Norman Critchley, the Mayoress of Bolton, Delyse Critchley, Major David Cook of the British Army, 42 North West Brigade, GMP Chief Superintendent Hartley and GMP Police Sergeant Stephen Baldam, Event Organiser.

…. Team members at the end of the days proceedings.

Here framed photographs, very quickly processed from the pictures taken less than two hours previously on Winter Hill ! were exchanged as well as Plaques commemorating the event.

The Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Norman Critchley addressed all present, thanking the runners for their fantastic fundraising effort, and reminding all present of the sacrifices made by past and serving members of the British Armed forces in many conflicts including that currently taking place in Afghanistan.
The Team and Team vehicles then remained in Victoria Square, where we were met and thanked by the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Norman Critchley, GMP Chief Superintendent Hartley, and the event organiser GMP Police Sergeant Stephen Baldam, for our help with this successful fundraising event for the Help For Heroes Charity.

In attendance at this event today were 21x Bolton MRT Call Out List members, 5x members of our Support Group, Sea Cadets, Marine Cadets and Army Cadets, members of the British Army and Royal Marine Reserve, Greater Manchester Police Officers and GMP Police Community Support Officers.

See also ’news’ articles dated Tuesday 27th October and Friday 16th October 2009.