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Army December 9, 2010
By Cpl Zenith King
A GUTSY effort earned four Army
paddle boarders a collective sec-
ond place against a national line-
up of competitors at the Burley
Griffin Canoe Club 24-hour chal-
lenge on November 6-7.
Lt-Col Bede Galvin, JCCB, and
Majs Paul Wright, 17 Const Sqn,
Brad Smith, ACSC, and Berni
White, CDG, competed as the High
Country Stand Up Paddleboarding
The race required competitiors
to complete as many 5km laps as
they could of the Molonglo River
course in 24 hours. It is the only
endurance race for stand up paddle
boards in Australia.
The Army team held its own
against canoeists and kayakers from
around Australia, but were pipped
at the post by professional Sydney-
based team OzSUP.
Ironically, ADF members Maj
Alex Cheeseman, CDG, and Wendie
Boyd, DMO, filled in for two late
scratchings in the OzSUP line-up.
High Country SUP team mem-
ber Maj Paul Wright said the team
was extremely proud of its effort.
"We certainly showed we had
a substantial amount of heart and
determination," Maj Wright said.
"While we came in second, it
was a close finish and we took com-
fort from the fact the strongest two
paddlers in the winning team had
A HUGE effort from Army women
saw them take out first and second
place in RAAF Darwin's annual cross
country event at Lee Point Reserve on
There were only two female Army
competitors in the 6.9km course
designed to challenge individuals both
mentally and physically.
A World War II bunker at Lee Point
marked the beginning and end of the
out and back cross-country track that
attracted more than 45 participants from
the Darwin region.
After a bunch start, competitors pro-
gressed along a winding uphill 1km
stretch, with Pte Anna Allen taking the
lead and Cpl Amanda Asher on her heels.
Pte Allen who managed to take the
lead early and hold her position through-
out the race, said her goal was to try and
keep up with the runners ahead.
"You had to watch your footing the
first few kilometres, which made it chal-
lenging not to fall over," Pte Allen said.
"Throughout the course I tried to
maintain a level of reserve for the chang-
es of gradient and terrain."
From the initial climb competitors
negotiated a tricky narrow descent before
commencing onto the main part of the
track for the remainder of the course.
Although this was Pte Allen's first
time on this course she felt comfortable
throughout the race and found it exciting
as it was different to road runs.
"You always have something else
to look for when you're running cross
country so it takes your mind off how far
you actually run," Pte Allen said.
"Due to previous cross country expe-
rience, I knew to be vigilant of course
Women lead way
in cross country
markers so that I wouldn't end up getting
lost. "I am very happy to have been the
first female across the line."
Pte Allen is now preparing for a half
marathon in early 2011.
RESULTS -- MEN: 1 -- Cpl Daniel McKay, RAAF,
30:45sec; 2 -- WOff Glenn Carter, 32:39; 3 -- LAC
Josh Lord 33:44. WOMEN: 1 -- Pte Anna Allen,
MHPS-NT/K, 34:03; 2 -- Cpl Amanda Asher,
MHPS-NT/K, 38:12; 3 -- LAC Cindy Baines, 37:01.
been paddling for many years long-
er than us.
Maj Wright said the competition
was one of the most demanding and
difficult things he had completed.
"It was just constant effort with
little rest and once you get tired it is
exceedingly difficult to keep a good
pace and stay on the board," he said.
"The initial few hours passed
relatively quickly, but once we had
completed a few laps, the lactic acid
started setting in along with the
"At one stage I looked at my
watch and realised we were only a
quarter of the way through the race.
"At that point I felt so tired."
High Country SUP was one of
only five teams that constantly pad-
dled from start to finish.
"Most other teams stopped pad-
dling during the night at some stage
to rest but we managed to keep
going," he said.
"In all we paddled over 150km
in the 24 hours, a mammoth effort
by any standard."
Maj Wright said as a team
they had only been SUPing for 11
"Earlier this year we started the
club," he said. "We originally began
with three founding members, but
now have over 10 members."
Long haul: Maj
Brad Smith, ACSC,
competes in the
Home stretch: Pte Anna Allen
pushes toward the finish in the cross
country race. Photo by Sgt Murray Staff
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