SAR pilot races US Marines
Lieutenant Alex Lockett (34) a Royal Navy pilot serving in 771 Naval Air Squadron (Search and Rescue, ‘Ace of Clubs’) based at Royal Naval Air Squadron Culdrose, has recently returned from representing the Senior Service at the ‘United States Marine Corps Marathon’ held in Washington DC.
Not only recognized for its sheer size as the fourth largest US Marathon it is the ninth biggest in the world, and stands as the largest that doesn't offer any prize money and earning its nickname, ‘The People's Marathon.’
Contested within the USMC Marathon, teams from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and their USMC counterparts, battle to take home a Victorian silver trophy that once belonging to H.M.S. Victory. Known as ‘the Challenge Cup’, rivalry between runners is fierce for this prestigious trophy and resolved by the aggregate times of the top three runners of each team.
Alex, wearing bib 55 led the Royal Navy team home with a time of 2hrs 44mins 42secs; he was 58th position overall and first Brit in a field of 30,000. The Challenge Cup is in its 36th year and has been dominated by the RN with 23 wins. This year however the Marine Corps fought back with a vengeance winning the Cup and raising their tally to 13.
Alex said: “It was an honour to represent the RN, we were hosted fantastically by the US Marines and the support received on the course was amazing. The Navy has great potential in a young team of Marathon runners; we’re looking forward to reclaiming the title next year!”
He added: “771 Squadron have been very understanding in allowing me to balance my duties with training and time out to travel for the race.”
Alex lives in South Devon and when not representing the Royal Navy, runs for Plymouth Harriers Running Club, sea kayaks across the south west, climbs and skis. He has previously served as a Lynx pilot on the Commando Helicopter Force in Iraq during Operation Telic and two tours of Afghanistan on Operation Herrick. No stranger to success, he won the first ever USMC Marathon to be held at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province Afghanistan in 2009 and will be leading the Royal Navy team for the 2014 London Marathon in March.
Royal Navy Team
- Lieutenant Alex Lockett (771 NAS) bib 55– 02:44:42
- Lance Corporal Andrew Stey RM (CTCRM) bib 54 – 02:47:13
- Major Ryan Kestle RM (CTCRM) bib 56 – 02:50:48
- Chief Petty Officer Stephen Wilsmore (MCTA) bib 51 – 02:51:04
- Lieutenant Oliver Nokes (MWS) bib 53 – 02:55:52
- Warrant Officer Andrew Marshall (JSSO) bib 52 – 03:11:48
Top three aggregate time: 08:22:43