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Slimmer rating leads HMS Clyde’s runners in Stanley Half Marathon

29 April 2016
A Senior rating from HMS Clyde topped his new fitness regime by becoming the first of the ship’s crew to finish a half marathon.

Making his debut over the distance, PO Robert ‘Knocker’ White led nine of the patrol ship’s runners home in challenging conditions for the Stanley Half Marathon in the Falkland Islands.

The 44-year-old is currently on his third tour of duty with Clyde – and last year dropped four stone in weight during his seven-month deployment.

“I am pleased to say I thoroughly enjoyed the day, well apart from the usual strong South Atlantic winds, recording a time of 1:34:24, which I was overjoyed with, coming 11th overall and first across the line from the Clyde entrants; needless to say this won’t be my last race.

I adopted a healthy new life and fitness regime, during which I found a new love for running.

PO Robert White

“I adopted a healthy new life and fitness regime, during which I found a new love for running.

“I entered the race never having competed in anything like this before and never over that distance.

“I knew I was quite physically fit with the training I had done over the previous 12 months but never thought at 44 I’d be running my first half marathon and never thought that my first time would be in the Falklands.”

Having just finished a busy maintenance period alongside, ten of the crew chose to brave the swirling wind and ominous rain clouds, in the shadow of Mount Tumbledown, to take part in one of the most southerly half marathons in the world.

With steep gradients, rough terrain, sand banks and gravel roads, the Stanley Half Marathon is no normal run.

The challenging route involves two loops around the historic capital, Stanley Airport and Cape Pembroke Lighthouse, before finishing on Admiralty Green.

With only 55 runners competing, Clyde’s crew were placed evenly in the field.

The CO of Clyde, Lt Cdr Steven Banfield, said: “It was great that we had the opportunity for my ship’s company to enter the race and that so many did.

“I know that all who took part had a great time and this is a good demonstration of the extremely close bond that HMS Clyde and her company have with the Falkland Islands.”

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