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Ultra Niagara Marathon

Major Ruggle completing his 25km leg of the Ultra Niagara Marathon

On the weekend of 4-6 April 2014, EX Ultra Niagara took place in the Niagara Region. The exercise was intended to fortify IBTS skills, promote teamwork and challenge soldiers’ mental and physical endurance. As a means of promoting women in the forces, EX Ultra Niagara requested a minimum of one female participant per team, seeing as routes utilized resembled similar terrain taken by Laura Secord during her heroic actions during the War of 1812.

Each unit was encouraged to provide two teams for the competition; one marching team and one running team. Teams consisted of five members, with one member per relay, for a combined travel distance of 100km using mixed terrain. In addition, relays also included a C7 with iron-sights shoot, a 9mm pistol shoot, navigation and various IBTS related questions and tasks. Each unit’s final score was based on the combined race time of the march, the run, and the overall scoring on the IBTS tasks.

The competition took place at Camp Wetaskiwin in Short Hills Provincial Park and Bruce Trail system. Terrain in these areas were quite challenging as it was wild, rocky and remote. During the exercise maps, batons, and GPS trackers were utilized to orientate and monitor individual performance. The first relay of marchers stepped off at 0400 hrs, whereas the first relay of runners stepped 0600 hrs. Due to safety reasons regarding poor visibility, the cut off time for running teams was at 2300 hrs and 0100 for marching teams.

With the intention of also expending the army’s outreach with the community, the race was conducted in conjunction with the Ontario Ultra Running Community. There were two civilian races; 100km solo run on the West Route and 25km solo run on the East Route; utilizing the same routes as the military participants.

Fortunately, we sent three teams to compete at EX Ultra Niagara; two marching teams and one running team. Dufferin Coy’s participates in the 100km weighted relay march were Maj Ruggle, Capt Ryan, MCpl Quiroz, Cpl Banks and Cpl Xhango. Halton Coy’s participants were Cpl Lemire, Cpl Vander Burgt, Cpl Caresquaro, Pte Coobs, and Pte McCullock. Lastly, participants in the 100km un-weighted relay run were Sgt Stewart, Cpl Bacznyski, Cpl French, Pte Kim and Pte Albaity. Each of the participants were awarded a commemorative id disk for completing the competition.

Well done to all The Lorne Scots who participated in this event.

MCpl M.D. Quiroz

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