Soldiers with the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) at Imjin Barracks in Innsworth had an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete with three Olympic athletes from Malawi last week.
Currently training at the University of Gloucestershire's Oxstalls Campus, the three Olympic runners arrived at Imjin Barracks last Thursday morning and participated in a basic personal fitness assessment (BPFA) with over 100 soldiers, civilians and family members stationed at the elite NATO headquarters just outside of Gloucester.
Consisting of two minutes of press-ups and two minutes of sit-ups followed by a one-and-a-half-mile (2.4km) run, the BPFA is an annual requirement for all British soldiers. Participating soldiers are graded according to their level of performance and effort, and are encouraged to complete all the elements to the best of their ability.
The Malawian Olympic athletes participating were marathon runner Mike Tebulo, marathon pace-setter John Kayange, 400-metre runner Ambwene Simukonda, and coach Francis Munthali. Tebulo, Kayange and Munthali all competed in the one-and-a-half-mile run, with pace-setter John Kayange completing the run in the fastest time (7.36 minutes).
Too true - I have run many a route that must have been 'estimated' One notable one in NI in the 90s where I achieved a best ever 8:09 running with a hangover, that course must have been at least 200 yards short - either that or the Guinness gave me wings!
I knew the record in my first garrison in Bicester was 6.29 by signals guy (tri service runner If I remember rightly) when I first joined the RAOC in 1992 was. I was on the current 10 ten placed ninth with 8.01 - i never broke 8.00 mins but I argued the toss because I think I did it in boots - Now I am a 38 year old knacker who does 10.15 not bad considering I have 11.30 to pass!