An RAF squadron leader has raised £63,000 for children’s charities after completing a 1,000-mile challenge dressed as a Stormtrooper.
Squadron Leader Jez Allinson – or the 'Running Stormtrooper' as he is known – completed his target of running 1,000 miles in 2020 while wearing the replica Stars Wars costume over the weekend.
Based at RAF Benson, Sqn Ldr Allinson became a regular sight around Oxfordshire, but said running in the costume posed a few problems.
"I can’t see a thing," he said. "So when it comes to kerbs and puddles, its really, really tricky.
"It’s heavier, it's about a stone, [so] I can't run like I would normally run.
"I look like a Stormtrooper but, for those who know Star Wars, I run like C-3PO would!"
Sqn Ldr Allinson said he had initially planned to run with schools, in public races and at shopping centres and events, but the coronavirus pandemic forced him to take the challenge on solo.
He even managed to complete 284 miles while on a deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier in the year.
"I took the costume with me," he said. "I mean, it was at 6,000ft so the altitude was obviously difficult, it was harder, but it was flat.
"I didn’t have to worry about traffic and kerbs and puddles as much."
The challenge is not the first time Sqn Ldr Allinson has run as a Stormtrooper, having initially completed the 2016 London Marathon in the costume.
Since then, he has run another two London Marathons, a 40-mile Ultra Marathon, a 100km challenge and even picked up a Guinness World Record.
"I did the fastest marathon as a Star Wars character," he said. "But since then my record has been destroyed by someone who ran as a rebel pilot."
Now, having raised £63,000 for the children’s charities Make a Wish and Spread a Smile, Sqn Ldr Allinson has decided to hang up his boots and blaster.
He said: "By the end of the year, I would have run about 1,100 to 1,200 miles, but 1,000 of those is [as] this character.
"I’m looking forward to actually breathing the fresh air and seeing things and running as me for a change again."