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Fox Glacier’s Air Force Flier

Fox Glacier’s Air Force Flier

Former Fox Glacier man and now Auckland local, Corporal (CPL) Nick Johnston has had a successful six months of competitive running in Air Force colours, winning both the Riverhead Rampage trail half-marathon and the Cape Brett Challenge trail marathon.

CPL Johnston is an Aircraft Technician in the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Whenuapai and is responsible for maintenance of the P-3K2 Orion, C-130 Hercules, Boeing 757 and Seasprite Helicopter.

CPL Johnston’s main hobby outside of work is competitive running. He has a strict training schedule and fits most of his training in before work or during the weekend.

“I love both on and off-road running including half-marathons and marathons,” CPL Johnston said.

His most impressive achievement this year has been placing third in his first ultra-marathon.

“I raced my first ultra-marathon at the Hillary trail ultra in March this year. I found it really challenging with approximately 3.5km of hill climb over the course. I came third with a time of 9:18:26,” CPL Johnston said.

Following on from the ultra-marathon, CPL Johnston won the Riverhead Rampage trail half-marathon and the Cape Brett Challenge 40km trail marathon.

CPL Johnston enjoys his role in the RNZAF because of the good training and opportunities for overseas travel.

“I like seeing when my work maintaining aircraft makes a difference, for example when an aircraft is used for a search and rescue operation,” CPL Johnston said.

CPL Johnston hopes to continue his winning streak having already entered the Tarawera ultra 100km in February next year.

“I am also waiting for entries to open for the Kepler challenge 60km, the Waihi Xterra ultra 60km (also known as the Kaimai killer) and the Speights west coaster trail marathon,” he said.

Following his posting to the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, CPL Johnston is hoping to be posted to either 40 Squadron or 5 Squadron at RNZAF Base Whenuapai.


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