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Royal Air Force officer Dean Holder completed Sunday’s London Marathon dressed as a Spitfire fighter, his charity fund-raising given a flying start by Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale.
Spitfire sponsored Squadron Leader Holder’s hand-built outfit, helping him raise a total of £3,000 for the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability.
He completed the course in five hours and 11 minutes and was greeted by his wife, Becks, and daughters Felicity, 10, and Charlotte, nine, at the finish line.
Dean, 41, is based at Brize Norton, the largest station in the RAF. The Spitfire costume was specially designed for the race to mark his appreciation for the iconic aircraft and his love of its namesake ale.
Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale www.spitfireale.co.uk is an official partner of the RAF, raising large sums for the RAF Benevolent Fund, Help for Heroes and other veterans’ charities. Award-winning Spitfire, created in 1990 by Shepherd Neame in Faversham, Kent, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, is the only draft ale available at the Royal Albert Hall, with its own bespoke bar. The beer’s characteristically Kentish, hoppy flavour and tongue-in cheek humour have made it a firm favourite with beer lovers.
Dean said: “Spitfire has long been one of my favourite beers. After a particularly tough training session the odd pint has helped me get back on my feet and put a smile on my face.”
Dean chose to raise money for Leonard Cheshire Disability because the charity’s work with disabled people is close to his heart.
He said: “I have previously worked at Headley Court with military personnel who have suffered injury and this helped me to gain an understanding of the impact of empowering people to overcome personal challenges. The work that Leonard Cheshire Disability does to help people fulfil their potential struck a chord with me.”