Olympic torch runner gets warmed up

Sandie Kennedy on a training run past the gates of RAF Leuchars.
Sandie Kennedy on a training run past the gates of RAF Leuchars.

Former RAF servicewoman, Sandie Kennedy, will enjoy an emotional homecoming next week when she takes part in the Olympic torch relay.

Part of the route to be taken by the one-time HR administrator in the once-in-a-lifetime experience will bring her past RAF Leuchars, where she spent her final posting after a career spanning 22 years - and Sandie admits it will be a sentimental occasion.

Sandie, who resides in Balmullo, served for more than two decades in warzones like Basra, Bosnia and the Falklands, as well as America, Turkey and Canada, before calling it a day in 2010, together with her 42-year-old boyfriend, David Angus.

Proposed by her mother, Mrs Margaret Kennedy (71), for the torch relay through the Bank of Scotland public nomination campaign, she has spent the last 18 months working as an administrator at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie.

Now, a twist of fate is set to reunite the Fife Athletic Club member with her old haunt on Tuesday, and Sandie (46) says emotions will be running high when she carries the torch past the Fife station.

She told the Citizen: “When I run past the RAF camp it will be quite a poignant and symbolic moment for me. It was my last RAF posting before I finished.

“I’m not sure whether the organisers looked into it, but it’s a nice touch either way and I’m really quite lucky to be doing it. I’ve seen people from all walks of life doing the relay already on TV and it makes me feel very humble to be taking part as well.

“I couldn’t believe I would ever be chosen. When I got the call at work I was in tears, I was absolutely gobsmacked and flabbergasted.”

Aberfeldy-born Sandie and her partner, David, have been together for eight years and decided to leave the RAF together, agreeing it was the right time for them individually and as a partnership.

She continued:”We wanted to do other things. I wanted to come out while I was still feeling upbeat, it had been such a good time. Now I’m very excited to be going back. It makes me very emotional to think that I’ll be a part of it.”

One person missing on the big day will be David’s sister-in-law Dawn Angus, who is on active duty with the RAF in Afghanistan.

Sandie recently completed her third London Marathon alongside Dawn in aid of Cancer Research, and insists it will feel strange to carry the flame without her running buddy cheering her on.

She said:”She’s just gone out to Afghanistan and won’t be back until September. It’s a big lump out of my life that she won’t be here. We did the London Marathon together and finished 50 seconds apart. I’ll be thinking of her when I run with the torch.”