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Army April 25, 2013
On the run: WO2 Pat Thomas traverses Mt Ainslie in Canberra during the
Australian Defence Mountain Running Championships. Photo by Cpl Aaron Curran
Go the distance
for pure running
The perception of distance
running as an individual
sport, that personifies the
image of the lonely long-
distance runner pounding the pave-
ment, is largely due to the inability
of the sport to be viewed as exciting
An advantage triathlon has over
pure running is its ability to gener-
ate team spirit since the triathlon
is both an individual challenge and
has team components.
Triathletes usually train and
compete together, whereas runners
seldom come together except in
Running long distance is often
viewed as not altogether exciting.
In many respects, the myth is real-
ity, so why fight it?
The myth surrounding distance
running is equally alive and well
in the ADF where running contin-
ues to play a vital part in training
individuals to achieve the physi-
cal attributes required in the perfor-
mance of military roles.
The challenge for Defence, in
particular for the ADF Running and
Athletics Association, is to over-
come perception and old paradigm
Competitions include 10km road
race, a State teams championship
over the half marathon distance and
track and field.
The principle focus for the
Association has been to promote
running as a means to create team
spirit, personal fitness, diversity,
challenge and fun.
There has been some resurgence
in cross county and athletics carni-
vals and a general upturn in interest
in distance running. The result has
been increased participation and
One aspect that we tend to for-
get is that running is a low risk,
high-return activity and participa-
tion in the sport enables anyone to
achieve, to excel and to challenge
themselves irrespective of their
Most runners will agree that
through running they can achieve
their ultimate challenge, no matter
what the distance, terrain or envi-
ronment, and that distance running
in particular, presents endless scope
for variety irrespective of one's age,
size or shape.
Anyone can become a distance
runner and in doing so become a
member of a team of competitors
who take part.
No doubt everyone who has
run, whether it was a marathon,
half-marathon or shorter event,
has at some stage experienced the
immense exhilaration, excruciating
pain, total physical exhaustion and
disappointment that comes from
tackling the sport.
But there is a dividend at the
end, which makes it all seem worth-
Distance running has its virtues
-- the pain of the run doesn't last
forever, but the memories that come
with participation, personal chal-
lenge and achievement as a team do.
Source: ADF Running and Athletics
Association website: http://www.adf.cool-
There is no doubt that distance running can involve long and
lonely hours, but Capt Frank Kresse shows that it's not all
about the journey, but more about the destination.
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