College conquers ‘80k in 80 days’ RAF challenge in just eight hours

PUBLISHED: 16:06 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:06 12 May 2020

Students and staff from the air and defence college at the College of West Anglia completed an 80k in 80 days challenge on VE Day. Pictures: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Students and staff from the air and defence college at the College of West Anglia completed an 80k in 80 days challenge on VE Day. Pictures: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Archant

Taking on an 80-kilometre challenge in 80 days may be a tall order, but not for students from the College of West Anglia (CWA).

Beth Jones completed 5.2km for the challenge. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIABeth Jones completed 5.2km for the challenge. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

As part of the RAF’s hurricane 80k challenge, people across the country have been tasked with running or cycling 80 kilometres within the same number of days to commemorate 75 years since VE Day and the upcoming 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

However, students from CWA’s air and defence college as well as staff and family members decided to try and complete the feat in just eight hours, which they reached with ease, covering 134km and exceeding their target by over 36km.

While students from the college will aim to join the RAF once they leave CWA, they also understood the importance that VE Day holds.

One student, Nathan Bird, said: “I felt proud taking part in the challenge as it honoured the men and women that served for our country.”

Jack Fysh ran and cycled 8k as part of the challenge. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAJack Fysh ran and cycled 8k as part of the challenge. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Beth Jones added: “I think the 80k challenge encouraged us all to go outside, which is essential for keeping us healthy and good for our wellbeing at the moment.”

As well as remembering those who lost their lives, foundation students marked the day by creating arts and crafts, including soldier silhouettes to learn more about the history of VE Day and some of those who lived through the war.

One student, Ben Daniels, created and cooked a VE Day menu and celebrated the day with a party with his family, complete with bunting, flags and food, including victory scotch eggs.

Jo Evans, air & defence lecturer at the college, said: “I thought the challenge would be a great way for students and their families to keep fit and stay engaged during lockdown and raise money for a worthy cause.

Joe Morley cycled over 15k. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAJoe Morley cycled over 15k. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

“I am so proud of them all. They are such good students doing everything I ask of them and they are always willing to rise to a challenge.”

All monies raised will be donated to the RAF Museum, which relies on donations from the public to allow them to continue telling the history of the RAF and helping to keep alive the memories of fallen servicemen and women.

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/royalairforcemuseum.

Jason Partridge contributed with the bike by cycling over 11k. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAJason Partridge contributed with the bike by cycling over 11k. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Jo Evans, air and defence lecturer at the college, completed over 5k for the challenge. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAJo Evans, air and defence lecturer at the college, completed over 5k for the challenge. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Student Ben Daniels created and cooked a VE Day menu to celebrate the occasion. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAStudent Ben Daniels created and cooked a VE Day menu to celebrate the occasion. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Student Owen Welham with cakes to mark VE Day. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAStudent Owen Welham with cakes to mark VE Day. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

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