Team plays a full part in events linked to Help for Heroes Charity and Armed Forces Day in Bolton

Today team members were out in force to support two charity runs organised and co-ordinated by Greater Manchester Police to raise funds for the Help for Heroes Charity.

The team had previously taken part in a similar event on Saturday 7th November 2009 (See website ’news’ item) but the running events today were on a much larger scale, which has involved our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE in regular planning and liaison meetings with the overall organiser Sgt Stephen Baldam of GMP, Brain Wiggans of GMFRS, W/O Peter Rhodes of the British Army and Sally Hayes of Bolton Council.

The team provided Standby Rescue Cover, moorland checkpoints, catering points (Joint with GMP and GMFRS) and marshalling for two runs today, both linked to Commando Training activities in the Second World War.

The first event, with 19 competitors from GMP, GMP PCSO, British Army, and our Team, started off at Fulwood Barracks Preston, taking in Great Hill and Winter Hill on the local moors and culminated in Bolton Town Centre to much applause from the crowds gathered at the Armed Forces Day event.


Leading group of the 30 miler

Amazingly all taking part in this grueling event had to do so in boots (No running shoes allowed !) and carry a 32lb rucksac !

Very dry conditions and temperatures peaking at 26C gave for some excellent times, with most reaching Hordern Stoops by circa 10.00hrs after setting off at 06.00hrs in the morning.

Winter Hill summit was attained by 10.30hrs by most of the nineteen, where GMFRS via the good services of the Salvation Army had arranged for a hot meal break and drinks break.

Our sole competitor in this event, our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland, aged 42 (43 in three weeks time) years, arrived at the Bolton Town Centre finish line at 12.22hrs as the first competitor home, with an official running time of 6hrs 22minutes, (’Beating’ off many younger entrants)


Team members congratulate Elaine

Elaine through sponsorship for this run has raised circa £375.00 for the Help the heroes Charity.

Commencing at Winter Hill summit at 12.00 noon the second running event of the day was a 6.9 mile race from Winter Hill summit down to Bolton Town Centre, with 35 runners from the British Army, GMP, GMFRS, Bolton Council, and Prison Service taking part, and two runners, Fred Taylor (Aged 61) and Brian Brooks from the Bolton MRT.


Team member Fred, enjoying the sun & his music ……


… and Brian enjoying the weather

Again all who finished were met by tremendous applause from the gathered crowds in Bolton Town Hall Square, with both Fred and Brian finishing in good overall places and both having raised sponsorship for the Help the Heroes Charity.

Guests of Honour at the prize giving ceremony which followed were the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton, with representatives from the British Army, Brian Wiggans from GMFRS, Chief Superintendent Stephen Hartley of GMP and our very own Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE.


Fred & Brian looking rather relaxed after the run …..


… Elaine receiving her champagne

There was one ’losing’ team today in the days events, a two man crew from both Lancashire Constabulary and Greater Manchester Police (both Traffic Officers) who had also set off at 06.00hrs this morning in a car from Inverness (chosen due to it being near the WWII Training home of the commando’s) to Bolton who had to beat the runners in the 30 mile event back to Bolton !

Even swopping as they neared the finish in to a marked Police Traffic Vehicle failed to get them ’home’ quicker than the runners, and in front of the gathered crowds to much amusement the hapless two man crew were presented by Sgt Stephen Baldam (Who not only organised the event he also successfully ran in the 30 mile run) with the ’Wooden Spoon’ Award for finishing second to all the runners.

The 20 Bolton MRT team call out list members who had taken part, plus runners Fred and Elaine, two members of our Support group, Teresa and Howard Gilliland, who had helped with on route catering, former team member Paul Brain and Freds Wife Julie, and Son Alistair who had also helped the team, all then joined the displays on Bolton Town Hall Square as part of the Armed Forces Day events. (With all five of our Team Vehicles on public display)

As for our other runner, Brian Brooks, he was whisked off immediately after his 6.9 mile run with barely an hour to get to his brothers wedding !

The team is very honoured to have been invited to take part in this local Help for Heroes event, and in partnership with our colleagues in the British Army, GMP, GMFRS and Bolton Council we have pledged our support for the proposed 2011 event.

Team Leaders Note – Elaine you have one year of training coming up to retain your 1st home in the 30 miler title !