TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - Coalition troops in Uruzgan tested their altitude fitness and endurance in the Sand to Sand Soldier On charity fun run Aug. 17.
Close to 170 personnel ran a seven or 14km course around the Multinational Base – Tarin Kot airfield which is nearly 1,400 meters above sea level.
The rocky path challenged the runners with many potholes and the dusty, dry conditions.
Instead of cheering spectators, runners were subjected to the laconic, but always encouraging force protection diggers securing the route.
Lt. Col. Mick Bye, CO 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Force, said the run in Tarin Kot was organised to raise money for the charity Soldier On and coincide with the Sydney City to Surf.
“While the rocky hillside around the Bowl was a poor substitute for Sydney’s blue sky and ocean, we were able to raise nearly $3,000 for the charity,” he said.
“Soldier On has developed in response to Australia’s many years in conflict and recognizes the many wounded soldiers from this fight we need to look after.
“The public may focus on those 40 gallant individuals whose lives have been lost during this long campaign, but it should also remember more than 250 have been wounded in the course of operational duties.
“Soldier on is about helping these serviceman and women tackle the challenges now presented to them while promoting dignity, soldierly honor and courage.
“Our run reminded each and every one of us of that challenge and I was personally impressed by the number of personnel who signed up to run the 14km course who had never run that distance before.”
The best male time of the 14km run was by 2nd Lt. Sean Robinson from the U.S. Army with a time of 52 minutes, 28 seconds.
Lt. Julia Nikolic from the Australian army was the fastest female and completed her run in 1:00:51.
For more information about Soldier On visit: www.soldieron.org.au or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.