Ian Banks has run the London Marathon five times; the Great North Run, seven times. But he’s never run a race like this before.
Banks is one of 100 runners to carry specially made batons in the RAF100 Baton Relay, which honours the Royal Air Force and its 100 years of aviation achievements. Raytheon in Broughton, North Wales, is a sponsor of the epic race, which began at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on April 1, the 100th birthday of the RAF. The volunteer runners include RAF personnel and veterans. They will run to 100 destinations in the course of the 100-day event.
“It’s a privilege to play a part in the centenary celebration,” Banks said. “It’s also a perfect complement to my day job, which is all about going the extra mile and achieving results.”
As technical sponsor of the RAF100 relay, Raytheon manufactured five high-tech, carbon-fiber, lightweight batons, fitted with 360-degree cameras, as alternatives to the original RAF100 ceremonial baton.
Banks, who ran on May 8, wore special shoes equipped with a Raytheon high-performance Dismounted Position & Navigation System to track his trek from Broughton to the next carrier in neighboring Flintshire, North Wales. The navigation system is designed to help users such as armed forces and blue light services operate in GPS-denied environments, and it uses anti-jam technology, meaning the user's position can be detected to a high degree of accuracy.
Banks, who has been with Raytheon since 1990, has also competed in a host of races in other countries, including the Chicago Marathon and the Amsterdam Marathon.
Banks leads a supply chain management team in Broughton that ensures quality control, working closely with the RAF and suppliers who help maintain and upgrade Raytheon-equipped Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft. Raytheon performs systems integration work for the Airborne Stand-Off Reconnaissance, or ASTOR, program at its operations in North Wales.
Banks said he never imagined that more than 20 years after joining Raytheon, he’d be invited to participate in one of the nation’s largest military events. He believes the company’s partnership with the RAF and the contributions of his team exemplify the way Raytheon’s advanced aviation surveillance technologies support the armed forces.
“Giving every task 100 percent is something we all do instinctively at Broughton, because of what the RAF has done and continues to do for this country and our allies,” Banks said.
After leaving Flintshire in North Wales, the baton headed toward RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, where Raytheon UK supports the Sentinel aircraft. The baton relay will end at the Horse Guards Parade in London on July 10.