During the Second World War, potential British Commandos would get off the train at Spean Bridge and be expected to speed march through the Scottish Highlands to the gates of Achnacarry House carrying their fighting order weighing 36lbs. Recruits were given just 1 hour to complete the 7 mile route, and those that failed to achieve this time would be returned to their parent unit.
In 1996, this speed march was reconstructed, based on this initial selection test, to raise funds for the Commando Benevolent Fund and the Airborne Forces Charities. Not quite as far as the P Coy 10-miler, The Speed March has since become an established annual military event attracting over 300 entrants a year, each wearing either a maroon or green t shirt.
This event is open only to Military Personnel. Members of the Armed Forces, Foreign Military, TA Units and Regimental Associations are all eligible to apply for a place in the Speed March. Army Cadets wanting to participate must be accompanied by adult staff and Health and Safety rules are applied. Cadets also carry a reduced load and participate in the ‘fun run’.
In 2015 teams from both 2 PARA and 3 PARA took part in this event.
Some 950+ runners – a mix of civilian, serving and ex-military – took part in the fourth PARAS’10 charity challenge in Colchester on Sunday 15 Nov. TAB finishers included Stu Pearson, who lost a leg at Kajaki and 79 year-old Mike Doyle, ex RAF Regt. The event took place in gusting winds, a change from the high heat and humidity which had forced a reluctant postponement in July.
After a silence in memory of those killed in service and in the terrorist attacks in Paris, the field was briefed to ‘Get a Grip and crack on’ and set off to the sound of a 7RHA 105mm Light Gun. The course ran through Merville Barracks and Friday Woods, over the hills and water obstacles crossed by soldiers on training runs. Some ‘airborne activity’ in the woods added to the unique atmosphere. Lt Gen Lorimer awarded the trophies to the winners.
With individual sponsorship still coming in, the Colchester event is estimated to raise some £45k for SUPPORT OUR PARAS; the series total including Catterick is closer to £75k. Colchester’s proximity to London and the City makes this an ideal vehicle for a corporate challenge event for teams of 4. Any company that may wish to sponsor the PARAS’10 event or a corporate challenge team trophy should contact Stephen Cooper on firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Events – Don’t miss out! In 2016 the PARAS’10 will be taking place in Colchester on 15th May and Catterick 04th September. There is an Early Bird offer on until 16h December, so get it quick! For more information and to enter please click the link http://www.paras10.com/
Credit: Cpl Reddy, 16 Air Assault Brigade, Army Media Ops for the featured image
With Armistice Day coming up John Watson has re-recorded a song ‘Heroes’ with the help of Colin Butcher. Former Paratrooper John joined the army after following in the footsteps of his father. He wrote the song ten years ago following a visit to Arnhem.
Colin converted his garage into a recording studio and has teamed up with John to re-record the song.
John and Colin are keen for the song to generate donations towards the charity. Information on how to donate can be found in the video which you can view below.
Many thanks to John and Colin for their support.
The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity