Running for a reason

Kenn Oliver
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Back from Afghanistan, three soldiers will do the Tely 10 in full gear

Everyone has a reason to run the Tely 10. In Sunday’s 83rd running of the historic race there will be those trying to break a record time, and those just competing against themselves. Some will run in memory of a loved one, while countless more will use it as a milestone on their path to a healthier future.

Sgt. John Sloan, Officer Cadet Harry Little, and Sgt. John Carew of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment will be among the hundreds of people running in Sunday’s 83rd Tely 10 road race. But, unlike their fellow racers, the trio will be jogging and walking

But for every brother in arms lost, the 30-year veteran insists there are “10 guys who have lost legs and arms or have some psychological issues.”

“You don’t usually hear about the guys who were wounded, and the physical and mental scars that are left from the theatre,” Carew says.

“We want the public to remember the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but also the guys who got hurt, either physically, psychologically or emotionally,” adds Sloan.

The sergeants and Little plan on raising funds in time for a September visit from Master Cpl. Jody Mitic, an elite sniper who lost both legs after stepping on a landmine in 2007 but went on to complete a half-marathon on prosthetic legs after months of rehabilitation. He has since championed the Soldier On cause.

 

Ready to pound the pavement

Each year, the men must to qualify in the Forces’ Battle Fitness Test (BFT), part of which includes a roughly 13.5-kilometre hike with full kit.

“Every guy in the combat arms has to qualify, just to confirm you’re still physically able to carry out a very physical task that you may, in fact, have to,” says Sloan, who has competed in 10 Tely 10s, clocking his best finish at 73 minutes.

“But the rucksacks we're carrying Sunday are nothing compared to what you’d carry in a real theatre of operation,” says Carew.

The 100-plus pound behemoths contain a soldier’s clothing, food, water, ammunition and body armour among other essentials.

“We want the public to remember the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but also the guys who got hurt, either physically, psychologically or emotionally.” Sgt. John Sloan

But Carew points out that, “the army usually never runs this stuff.”

“Everything we do is a walk and you only go as fast as your slowest man.”

To spare themselves some masochism, the trio plan on “jogging” about 30 per cent of the course while marching the rest.

“We’re not wearing boots that are meant to be run in carrying all that weight on our back,” says Carew, “Unlike most runners, we’ll end up with a lot of blisters.”

Sore feet or not, they are eager to pound the pavement in the name of the Canadian Forces, something they recognize as an organization that can be contentious.

“Regardless of whether people agree with what what we’re doing over there, the soldiers are there and they’re dying and getting injured. Right or wrong it’s what we’re told to do,” says Carew.

“I think Canadians are becoming more aware of the threat level over there and what the Canadian soldiers are giving in service to their country. That’s why we want to bring it up, raise awareness.”

To donate to the Soldier On Fund, visit: http://www.cfpsa.com/en/corporate/SoldierOn/donate_e.asp

 

koliver@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canadian Forces, Taliban

Geographic location: Afghanistan

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Recent comments

  • Jeff Warford
    July 26, 2010 - 08:47

    Great job boys! Great way to raise awareness for an excellent cause!

  • elizabeth carew
    July 25, 2010 - 22:54

    John Carew I am a very proud mom. Also congratulations to your friends for completing the run

  • Zeke
    July 25, 2010 - 10:59

    Well done "Lads"!! Makes me even more proud to have served with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. And still being a member of the military, this allows us all to reflect on the sacrifices being made overseas by our comrades.

  • Dan Desgrosseilliers
    July 25, 2010 - 03:40

    What an honourable cause gentlemen...we must never forget the sacrifice our young women and men in uniform make every day on our behalf...and as these three fine men remind us...let's make sure we are there to support the survivors....have a great a great Tely 10.

    • Melvin Ruby
      July 25, 2010 - 09:53

      Seeing these 3 soilders run this morning, made me really proud to call myself a Canadian. Everybody on the route should of saluted these 3 men. They are heros, not only for what they did this morning,but for willingly putting themselves in harms way, so we can sleep in saftey every night. That i say thank you.

    • Melvin Ruby
      July 25, 2010 - 09:54

      Seeing these 3 soilders run this morning, made me really proud to call myself a Canadian. Everybody on the route should of saluted these 3 men. They are heros, not only for what they did this morning,but for willingly putting themselves in harms way, so we can sleep in saftey every night. That i say thank you.

  • Roisin Carew-Arithi
    July 24, 2010 - 22:24

    As a civilian with the Department of National Defence in Halifax, I am aware of the military and what they do for us; however, I never knew what it would be like to have someone in Afghanistan until my brother, Sgt John Carew, went. I am very proud of him and ALL of the men and women serving around the world - and I love the fact that he will be running in the Tely 10 - Good luck John and Good luck Gerry (my other brother). Roisin

  • John
    July 24, 2010 - 20:00

    Next year, why not have a race with Corrections, Fire, Police, Navy, Army and Air Force. People could collect pledges and then donate to their favourite charity be it a Forces charity, MD for the Fire Dept, etc..

  • Shawn Clarke
    July 24, 2010 - 19:56

    Well done troops!