We are Rory Marriott and Hilary Fulton and recently we completed a 10,000ft tandem skydive to raise money for MS-UK.
I (Rory) was diagnosed with PPMS in 2014 and have received lots of help and information from MS-UK. For me this was the perfect opportunity to help raise funds for the Charity and to fulfill a 30 year wish.
Hilary on the other hand, had no intention of jumping out of a perfectly working plane!
We volunteered at the Colchester Castle Park Parkrun MS-UK Bear Fayre event in May of this year. The New Pathways magazine, containing an article about skydiving, was on the charity stand. ‘Hilary, (foolishly) happened to mention she felt envious of my planned jump.’ (Rory)
‘Yes, I admit I did say this, yet I did not expect that 3 days later I would be all signed up to do the jump with Rory!’ (Hilary)
As part of the fundraising we held a handicap 5km race where the aim is to get participants to finish at the same time. The slower runners set off first, followed by others who are faster with the fastest setting off last. This raised a fantastic £200 towards Hilary’s target.
I (Hilary) took part in this race, despite it being the first time I had ever run non-stop let alone 5k! I finished a respectable 2nd place, although Rory is very disappointed that I didn’t overtake the winner who just happened to be a 5 year old.
The day of the jump arrived. I (Hilary) had been feeling nervous in the run up to the day. Rory on the other hand was bouncing around like Tigger, more excitable than a child on Christmas Eve. The car journey to the airfield consisted of loud music and dancing to get us psyched up for the jump. Of course, Myles was along for the adventure too.
Everything happened really quickly from the point of arrival. Registration to pre-flight briefing, meeting our individual instructors, into flight gear then onto the plane. No time to think about backing out.
Rory was first onto the plane which he knew meant he would be last out. Even that didn’t phase him the slightest.
‘I was just super excited! I was taking in the banter between the instructors and loving every single second’ (Rory)
Before we knew it we were 2 ½ miles up and the doors were opened.
As the second to leave the plane, Hilary and Myles were soon in the doorway.
‘My main concern all along had been that I didn’t want to vomit in the air. With the initial drop my stomach went but thankfully for me, and my instructor, no sick! The free fall was amazing! Such a clear day, the view below looked like a toy town.
When the parachute opened my legs appeared to find a life of their own which Rory finds extremely amusing every time he watches the video clip.
After a smooth landing I got the chance to watch Rory gracefully glide down to land.
The whole thing was such a great experience and I’m so glad I did it and got to share it with Rory.’ (Hilary)
(Rory) ‘On the ascent in the plane I had said to my instructor that I wanted plenty of tricks as opposed to Hilary who wanted a nice calm skydive. It was a short wait, watching the other 5 leave the plane, before it was my turn.
Just before I edged toward the door, I started my GPS watch. The analyst in me was determined to know everything about the jump.
As we somersaulted out of the plane (trick #1) I was feeling euphoric. I can only describe the free fall element as awesome! (anyone who knows me knows that I only use that word in the correct meaning)
There were a few more trick spins before, sadly, for me, the parachute opened far too quickly. The rest of the descent was more of an amble, but you can’t beat the view!
For the record, I covered the first 2km in 41 seconds and reached a maximum speed of 147mph!’ (Rory)
So far we have raised £1735.
If we have any tip for others it would be – Go for it! It might seem scary but you’re in professional hands. Enjoy it!
Experience Rory and Hilary’s skydives…
Rory and Hilary’s JustGiving pages
Want to Jump for MS-UK?
Find out more http://www.ms-uk.org/JumpForMSUK