VJ DAY 75 -ROTARY PEACE MARATHON

Constant Rain fails to dampen spirits at the Peace Marathon

Despite rain throughout, the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day went ahead undaunted in Leighton Linslade with a Peace Marathon. Runners and walkers completed in excess of the traditional marathon of 26.2 miles. The baton containing the names of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW2 started its journey at 11 am from the Leighton Buzzard War Memorial after the playing of the Last Post and it fell to Andrew Selous MP, Dave Bowater Town Mayor, Farzana Kharawala Deputy Mayor & Simon Marshall Rotary President to ensure the safekeeping of the baton on the first two and half miles of its journey around the local area.

The task of keeping the Marathon going then fell to a wide variety of individuals representing local charities and organisations and Rotary would like to say a huge thank to all of them, so in no particular order, they were MK Dons SET, OMM Solicitors, Town Mayors Charity, Dogs for Good, MS Society, Buzzards Inclusive FC, Naval Cadet Corps, Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club, Guides, Bedfordshire Community Policing Team, Scouts, SSAFA, Veterans BC, Daniel Bingley Invictus Games Athlete, Friends Within ( Mencap), Otters Swimming Club.

Multi Invictus Games Medalist and Veteran Daniel Bingley brought the baton home, completing the last leg to the War Memorial ably assisted by Veterans Andy Milne and Bob Gair, where the baton was received by the High Sherrif of Bedfordshire Sue Lousada DL and Chairman of the British Legion Mark Freeman.

As the day drew to a close Mark Freeman read the 76 names from the scroll which had been held inside the baton as it toured the area, this was followed by Arron Lansbury of Heath Band played the traditional end of day music “Sunset” drawing to an end a memorable nine hours of physical endeavour in memory of some very brave men.

At the time of writing the final outcome in terms of donations is unknown, however, early indications are that in excess of £2,500 has been raised to support local charities. To make a donation click our Virgin Money giving link

Rotary Club President Simon Marshal himself a veteran said

“Rotary is all about action in the Community and as we chart a course through these unprecedented times it was a real challenge to construct an event to both honour the sacrifice of a special generation and also to highlight again the tremendous depth and variety of community organisations we have in our very special town. As events were canceled all around us I wish to say a personal thank you to Leighton Linslade Town Council and Bedfordshire Community Policing Team the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Sue Lousada DL and our local MP Andrew Selous for having faith in what we set out to achieve and for their unstinting support. A special mention also to all the organisations and charities who came together to form an informal Rotary Community Corps without whom the event would not have been possible, and finally to the people of Leighton-Linslade who as ever have supported us, we hope you are proud that our Town has been able to hold such an event in these challenging circumstances”