Octogenarian Olympic torch bearer signs up to Norfolk runway run

PUBLISHED: 12:23 15 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:25 16 September 2012

Bill Blackiston on the quay at Blakeney. Picture: Ian Burt

Bill Blackiston on the quay at Blakeney. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

An octogenarian Olympic torch bearer is the latest fun runner to sign up to a lifesaving charity’s runway run this month.

Bill Blackiston, who carried the Olympic flame this summer after being nominated for his charity work for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, will be taking off down Tibenham Airfield, near Diss, on Sunday, September 30 to raise more funds for the charity.

The 84-year-old from Blakeney in north Norfolk and his Michelin-starred chef son Galton, are long-time supporters of the air ambulance

The ex-soldier has skydived for the charity twice, raising over £12,000.

He said: “I was looking for something else to do to support the EAAA when I saw an article about the runway run. The decision was made! It gives me a good opportunity to wear my Olympic torch suit. I’ll bring the torch along too though I don’t plan to carry it all the way. My friends will soon be hearing from me about handing over the sponsorship money.”

Organisers are hoping for a record turnout for the fourth runway run at Tibenham and hope to break the £20,000 fundraising mark and get more than 350 competitors.

Runners can take part in either a 5k or 10k run, which start at 4pm, and there will be a prize awarded to the best 999 emergency services outfit.

Jess Down, EAAA fundraising manager for Norfolk, added: “Bill has been a fantastic supporter and we’re delighted that he’s coming along to the runway run, which is fast becoming one of our annual flagship events. While it’s UKA certified, it’s is also ideal for fun runners, joggers, fancy dress contestants and even those who just fancy a pleasant walk.”

For further details and to register online, visit or call the charity on 01603 489406.

The annual event comes as the Eastern Daily Press continues to boost the air ambulance’s coffers through its LifeSaver appeal. Readers are being urged to help raise £50,000 to pay for a £20,000 ventilator, two £5,000 blood analysers and a £20,000 ultrasound machine.

You can tell the EDP about fundraising events to support the campaign by emailing

Cheques, made payable to the ‘East Anglian Air Ambulance’ can be sent to Eastern Daily Press Appeal, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Hangar E, Gambling Close, Norwich Airport, Norwich NR6 6EG.

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