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On the afternoon of Friday 28th September 2018, this year’s COPS 30 Miler participants began to arrive at Clennell Hall, where they booked in, grabbed some food, then gathered for the safety briefing. An overview of the event was provided, after which participants met the organisers and some of the Royal Marines who they would be running alongside the next day.
The ‘COPS 30 Miler’ raises funds for the Care of Police Survivors Charity (COPS), alongside The Royal Marines Charity. This brilliant event is the brainchild of Simon Guilfoyle and Lee Gosling, who are both serving Police Officers.
Next morning came around quickly and this year the Royal Marines chefs offered to include COPS 30 Miler participants in the breakfast they prepared for the Marines facilitating the event, so flame-grilled sausage and bacon sandwiches were made available to anyone who wanted one (or two). Perfect for 0500hrs in the dark and freezing cold.
After that, it was time for a kit check and transport to the start point; the 42 participants climbed onto a coach and were driven along country roads as dawn began to break. At Kirknewton, there was just time for a few photos and good wishes, before the three syndicates set off into the hills alongside the Royal Marines, 15 minutes apart. What followed was the usual blend of effort, determination, banter, laughs, pain, personal battles and triumph that has come to characterise this magnificent event.
Back at Clennell, the participants marched into the grounds of the hall to the applause of families, friends and supporters, before standing in a ‘hollow square’ formation and being addressed by the Royal Marines Colonel. T-shirts and patches were distributed and then it was time for the traditional barbecue, drinks and story-telling.
24 of the 42 participants completed the course this year, including the first women in the history of the event. A record-breaking amount of sponsorship money was also raised for the two charities (final figure to be disclosed in due course).
Story Credit & Photos: @Cops30Miler
Below you can find a few photos of the 2018 COPS 30 Miler experience…