Boston Slog One to One magazine

Boston Slog 2014

RAF Coningsby Logistics Squadron (LS) held its annual charity ‘Boston Slog’ road race on 25 Sep 14. This marked the 27th consecutive year the event had been held with funds raised through sponsorship being donated to the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Dogs for the Disabled.

A total of 27 competitors of all ages and abilities took part in this enjoyable and challenging event.

The 2014 Boston Slog comprised three events:

The Iron Man (8 competitors) – A 14-mile cycle from RAF Coningsby to Boston stump and a 14-mile run back to RAF Coningsby. Winner (Male): SAC Gambrill (TMF) 2 hr 15 min 47 sec (Female): SAC Clark (LS) 2 hr 50 min 47 sec.

The Cycleman (17 competitors) – A 28-mile cycle from RAF Coningsby to Boston and back. Winner: Sqn Ldr Poulson (OC FSS) 1hr 16 min 35 sec, 2nd CT Hartley (Typh MSC) 1 hr 25 min 37 sec and 3rd CT Smith (AWC) 1 hr 25 min 48 sec.

The Fun Run (2 competitors) – A 14-mile run from Boston to RAF Coningsby. Winner: Mr Ron Morley (WESCO) 1hr 44 min 43 sec and 2nd Sgt Thompson (LS) 1 hr 49 min 44 sec.

Why do we hold the Boston Slog? It can be easy to forget why events like this ever started, and this event has been running for a very long time. The first challenge was to find someone who has been at Coningsby long enough to remember how this event began. Thankfully we have the Station Warrant Officer, WO Watson, who has a memory like that of an elephant, and he certainly never forgets anything! Anyone that has ever been on his hit list would probably tell you so.

The Boston Slog started in 1987 as a 14 mile run from RAF Coningsby to the Boston Stump as a Logistics (Logs) Sqn sports event, and the following year it changed to a run starting at the Boston Stump back to RAF Coningsby. 1989 saw the untimely death from Leukaemia of SAC Ian McQueen who worked in SCAF. This tragic death inspired Logs Sqn to start fund raising for Cancer Research. In 1998, Logs Sqn lost Sgt Paul Scotland from an unexpected heart attack and the British Heart Foundation has since shared the funds raised. Since its inception, it is believed the Slog has raised in excess of £50K for these and other worthy local charities. In  1998 the Slog became the multi-event it is today.

Following some ‘on the job training’ on how to use the air horn, the first leg of the race for the cyclists was started outside Logs Sqn by COS Engineering and Logistics Wing, Sqn Ldr McGowan. Though it was slightly overcast, the weather held out in favour of the event and thankfully not a drop of rain was seen all day! The competitors were greeted at the Boston Stump finish line by the Worshipful Mayor of Boston, Councillor Alison Austin. Here they were joined by the fun runners for a group photo before the race back to RAF Coningsby was started by the Mayor. No air horn ‘on the job training’ was required for the mayor!

After a grueling 14 mile run/ cycle, with sweat, blisters and tears, the last runner crossed the finish line around 15:30 pm. For the competitors’ arrival, ISS had generously donated trays of much appreciated sandwiches, crisps & fruit. The local Lincolnshire Co-op in Coningsby village donated bars of chocolate and, since there were a few sweet toothed volunteers helping out on the day, these much needed treats were kept safely under lock and key until the competitors returned.

At the time of writing, a total of £1020 sponsorship had been collected. Sqn Ldr McGowan presided over the trophy presentations in the Logs Sqn HQ tea bar and also awarded the ‘Paul Scotland Memorial Plate’. This is awarded to the person who has shown the utmost dedication and determination in facing adversity to overcome obstacles in completing the slog. Despite twisting his ankle and getting a blister before water stop 2, Mr Pete Flint from Station Workshops persevered, showing fantastic spirit throughout and was the well deserved recipient of this award.

We were fortunate enough to have some of the charity representatives available on the day, and Helena Mair from British Heart Foundation commented ‘Thank you to RAF Coningsby for supporting the BHF in 2014. The atmosphere at the Boston Slog was really great and it was fun to be part of the day. A real team spirit.’ On behalf of the Logs Sqn charities committee, we would like to thank all that supported the Boston Slog, our sponsors – MBDA, Wesco Aircraft, TESCO, Lincolnshire Co-op & ISS – and particularly the competitors and volunteers who gave up their time to take part and make this worthwhile event possible.

Logs Sqn hope to run this event again in Sept 2015 and we look forward to seeing any regular and new entrants. Keep an eye out for future publicity and spread the word for this fantastic event!