‘Baton’ run to the top of the Rock
Alan Rowe, 65, founder of the Baton, ran to the top of the Rock with local marathon runner Ernest Gracia, 60, following a send-off from the Governor.
On May 14, the two runners set off from the Convent after being handed the Baton by the Governor Edward Davies and other senior officers.
The Baton, is “a symbol of national conscience – of pride, hope courage and suffering”, that carries a message of support for the forces in Gibraltar.
Mr Rowe arrived on the Rock wanting to bring awareness of the Baton locally and of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment generally.
“The Baton now has sound backing for its future aims in Gibraltar, I feel a real affinity and a good relationship with Gibraltar,” he said.
“This and future visits will be to promote the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s proud history as well as the stoic character of the people of Gibraltar, who retain a pride in being part of Great Britain that all in GB should honour and could learn from.”
The runner said that many British people are completely unaware of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s history of protecting Gibraltar and its participation in theatres of war, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Chronicle put Mr Rowe in touch with his running partner Mr Gracia, who recently ran the London City Marathon in under four hours, prompting him to say: “Ernest could have completed the run much quicker but we reached the summit dead on 45 minutes.”
“I could not have had a better partner to run with, thank you for putting us together, Ernest made the run more than memorable,” he added.
Following the run, Mr Gracia, Mr Rowe and his wife Pauline Rowe were invited by the Governor to join him and other dignitaries on the balcony of Convent House for the Guard Mount ceremony last week.
“An honour and an occasion we will never forget,” said Mr Rowe.
Introduced to the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, he spoke about the possible consequences Gibraltar would face if Britain left the EU, he said.
Mr Rowe added he “really can’t get over the hospitality and friendship that we [meaning his wife and him] were shown whilst in Gibraltar”.