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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



12 October 2014

On the 31st August at 1100hrs, soldiers from 40 (NIH) Signal Squadron found themselves at Catterick training area on the start line of a multi-terrain endurance event. 

The challenge was to complete the Para 10 Competition, a gruelling running course which follows the same route as the Parachute Regiments 10 Mile Selection for the prestigious P Coy qualification.  The Ultimate 10 Mile Endurance Race is managed by serving soldiers of the Parachute Regiment with the primary aim of raising funds for The Parachute Regiment Charity.

Just as the horn blasted indicating the start of the race, two of our team jostled with each other to gain an advantage for a strategic quick start.  It was all plain running until the 3 mile point, where the soldiers from 40 Squadron realised they were on an arduous competition.  The first obstacle was a small stream which had to be negotiated and immediately afterwards there was a very demanding mountain to climb. It was at this stage the ‘men were sorted from the boys’.

The next obstacle was at the 7 mile point were 3 muddy pits of toxic water lay.  The team leader attacked the waist level cesspits with great fury and to the satisfaction of the spectators, as they applauded his courage.  As he waded through, he was to be broken again by another massive hill immediately after the water obstacle.  As he ascended to the peak of this mountain he adopted the crawl on all fours method and he looked back to assess the positioning of the three other members of 40 Squadron - only to see them taking the route which was clearly marked for civilians, guiding the competitors away from the water obstacles for an alternative dry, easy route!.

With the final 2 miles to go, a sign stating ‘the hard work is over now!’ was situated for all to see. Aas the pace increased the competitors were duped yet again as they had to climb the steepest hill of all. After 25 meters into the incline, many of the competitors adopted the crawl position on all fours yet again.

As the finish line approached the competitors were filled with pride and self-satisfaction, which was further reinforced by the strong handshake from a Senior Para Officer, who congratulated the participants and awarded them their completion medal and T Shirt. 

Proud of what they had achieved the soldiers from 40 (NIH) reflected on how well the competition was supervised, coordinated and controlled from start to finish. Although it was a testing route it was worthwhile; demanding but enjoyable and all agreed that they would return again in 2015.