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Why we’re running 10k race for Red Arrow Jon
TWO brothers are pulling on their running shoes in memory of their school friend who grew up to be a Red Arrow.
Ben Pantling, 36, from Poole, and his brother, Mark, are taking on the 10k race in the Bournemouth Bay Run, on April 7, in aid of the Jon Egging Trust.
The good cause was set up in recognition of Jon Egging, the Red Arrow who died in a tragic accident in 2011, minutes after performing at Bournemouth Air Festival.
Ben and Mark went to secondary school with Jon at Southam High School in Warwick, where they all grew up together, before each of them took a different career direction.
Mark, who still lives in the Warwick area, says he remembers that Jon had always talked about a career as a pilot.
He said: “I was in the same tutor group as Jon at Southam, and obviously he was round our house all the time.
He added: “The whole flying idea was always his thing. Whilst the rest of us kids didn’t know what we wanted to do in the future, Jon did. Obviously not specifically to be in the Red Arrows, that possibly came later, but certainly a career in flying.
“Unfortunately after we left school, we lost touch, but we still kept each other updated on Facebook.”
Ben added: “I remember the weekend that it happened, I went to the Bournemouth Air Festival on the first two days, but I travelled back to see our parents in Warwick on the Saturday, the day of the accident.
“I saw on the news that one of the Red Arrows had crashed, and it made me wonder if Jon knew them. I never thought it would be him.
“It makes you assess your life when you hear of something like that. It makes you look at what he did, what he achieved, and it made me want to give something back.”
Ben says that he took part in the Bournemouth Bay Run last year as a personal challenge, but this year he wanted to go that bit further and raise money for a good cause.
Mark and Ben hope to raise at least £1,000 between the two of them, so that funds can go to the British Heart Foundation, who are the organisers of the Bournemouth Bay Run, and to the Jon Egging Trust.
* To donate by text, start your message with the code BBJE99, followed by the amount you want to give, 70070. So, to give £2, text BBJE99 £2 to 70070. For more information, go to the website Justgiving.com/teams/PantlingFundracer