Police To Take On Bristol 10K In Full Riot Gear

Great Comeback 2

Join the team from Avon and Somerset Constabulary on the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k start line: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k

A group of nine police officers will take on a 10km challenge dressed in riot gear, equipped with shields and helmets to raise funds for charities that support the emergency services.

The super-fit bobbies are used to patrolling the streets of Bristol City Centre in full public order uniform. The group have set themselves the tough challenge of dragging around 30lbs of kit around the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k course when it returns to the city.

The move was the idea of PC John Howlett, a keen ultra marathon runner, who wanted to look for a new and more lighthearted challenge.

The group is a mix of police constables, inspectors and sergeants from Avon and Somerset Constabulary who will take on the event on Sunday 7 May in aid of Mind's Blue Light Programme and Macmillan Cancer Support.

John and two of his colleagues persuaded a group of nine members from the police force after discussing the idea to do something funny for the charities.

John, 39, from Bristol, said: “I've taken part in a lot of tough running events and have done a lot of silly things for charity so I thought this idea to involve my colleagues in my antics would be something completely different.

“It will be nice for people across the city to see a different side to the police force and hopefully make us seem less intimidating.

“Once we decided that we wanted to extend the invite to more of our colleagues, they didn't really have a say in the matter.”

The Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k will see John and his colleagues join over 12,000 others on one of the country's most scenic courses where runners passes the likes of Bristol Harbour and Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The fast and flat course is perfect for new runners or for those looking to achieve a personal best. The day also includes the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Family Mile, perfect for families who are looking to take on a shorter running route for fun, fitness or fundraising.

John hopes that more police officers in the force hear about the group's challenge and sign up to join them at the event.

He said: “I am quite confident at running around in my full uniform as I work as a medic in the force and I usually cover a long distance in one day, but I think running with thousands of others will be very different.

“I will also be carrying my full medical kit which usually adds around 20lbs to the normal public order uniform.”

“May usually brings good weather so it is likely to be very warm when we take on the 10k and our suits tend to trap a lot of heat.

“The equipment we carry is very heavy and the weight increases depending on your size.

“A lot of my colleagues are over six foot tall so we know it will be a very difficult task.

“It certainly will be a different sight, in all of my time doing running events I have never seen a large group of police offers running in what we are going to be wearing."

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k are now open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k