Ex Mountain Man 2012

By Capt Matthew Shumka

 

On 6 June 2012, all Strathcona soldiers considering competing in the gruelling MOUNTAIN MAN competition met for an initial team brief.  Coming off one of the most successful years in Regimental history, the Team OPI and Team Training IC, Sgt Felix Charette, discussed the lone goal: to top the podium!  With a challenging and creative training plan, the team faced constant challenges as they suffered through numerous injuries and balanced Regimental operations and training commitments.  Finally, after 3 long months of punishing cross-fit sessions, long runs carrying weight, and canoe-portaging practice, the team was ready for race day on 30 August 2012.  

Competition day saw the culmination of the months’ worth of the blood, sweat, and tears expended during training.  Arriving at Hawrelak Park in the early hours of the morning, 53 Strathcona soldiers conducted final preparations on their rucksacks, helped tape power gels to each other, and psyched themselves up for the 32km run, 3.2km canoe portage, 10km paddle down the North Saskatchewan River, and the final 5.6km “sprint” to the finish – all while carrying a 33 pound rucksack.  In what is becoming a tradition, soldiers from across the Regiment came out to cheer on, run beside, and support their comrades.  Demonstrating this selflessness, WO Danny “I don’t need any training” Forbes, from Maintenance Troop, joined the team only two days before the race to ensure that the team had a senior NCO after a series of injuries plagued the team.  After a quick “pep-talk” from the Brigade Commander, Col David Anderson, the horn sounded and they were off!  Tpr Russel “Twig Legs” Glennie from A Sqn set the pace and led the race at the 16km mark only to be passed by fellow Strathcona Sig Andrew “I’m not human” Smith who took the lead going into the portage.  From that point on, Sig Smith of HQ Sqn, did not look back and completed the race in what is an almost unbelievable, superhuman time of: 4 hours 59 minutes and 58 seconds.  This marked the second year in a row that a Strathcona placed 1st overall.  At the end of the day the Regimental Team had another strong showing, and after a three hour delay due to technical difficulties, the results were tallied.  The Strathcona Mountain Man team finished third overall in the Major Unit category for the third consecutive year, yet again beating out two infantry battalions in the Brigade’s premier sporting event.  


The 2012 Strathcona MOUNTAIN MAN Team was composed of some of the most extremely fit and determined soldiers in 1CMBG:

Tpr

Aguila

Cpl

Graham

Capt

Niedzielski

Tpr

Biener

Cpl

Harris

LCol

Peyton

Capt

Boates

Tpr

Haywood

Cpl

Priddle

2Lt

Brittain

Lt

Hewer

Tpr

Radford

Capt

Buckingham

Tpr

Kelser

Tpr

Ranchuk

Tpr

Chen

Capt

King

Cpl

Scheltgen

Cpl

Cheng

Tpr

Lachance-Webster

Cpl

Shaw

Tpr

Clare

Cpl

Lee

Tpr

Shepherd

Tpr

Cook

Capt

Leonard

Tpr

Skaarup

Lt

Couture

Cpl

Lonegren

Sig

Smith

Tpr

Dobson

Capt

MacKillop

Tpr

Snoek

Tpr

Downey

Tpr

Maendel

Cpl

Symington

Tpr

Edwards

Tpr

Malone

Tpr

Turner

Tpr

Elston

Cpl

Maxwell

MCpl

Vigar

WO

Forbes

Lt

McHugh

Tpr

Whipple

Cpl

Fraser

Cpl

McMaster

Cpl

Woodcock

Lt

Frizzell

Tpr

McTaggart

Cpl

York

Tpr

Glennie

Lt

McTavish