"If it ain't raining, you aren't training…." In the fine words of many a MCpl, the 2014 Harrier Race began with glowering clouds broken only by the nervous smiles of first years swarming the parade square. As the first official event mixing FYOP with the rest of the Cadet Wing, there were shows of camaraderie and color from every corner. Especially, of course, the mascots. The race began at 0830 and the Wing in its entirety thundered across the peninsula and up the familiar Fort Henry course to complete its 5k around the campus, Point Frederick, and the final stretch by the Senior Staff Mess.
For many of FYOP, still transitioning from civilian life, the race was a challenge, but the collectivity of the Wing bolstered their confidence. "I was fully qualified as a reservist before coming here," said 27212, OCdt Sommer, a promising potential for 4 Sqn. "So I was somewhat more prepared for FYOP than my peers. Here at RMC, the population is over a thousand, yet the level of teamwork and unit cohesion here is incredible for a unit of this size. I feel proud to be on the parade square today, and it inspires me to work hard to prove to them that I deserve a place among them."
It was particularly inspiring to run the race and see the Wing's support for FYOP. Despite rivalries common to Wing events, seniors ran alongside first years of all squadrons to cheer them on to the finish. At the end, the nervousness that dominated the parade square before the race had vanished, and even in the downpour, the FYOP future seems sunnier than ever.
The top three males and females for the run are as follows:
- OCdt Reid - 0:17:13
- OCdt Lacasse - 0:17:27
- OCdt Vadala - 0:17:28
- OCdt MacDonald - 0:22:42
- OCdt Gauvin - 0:23:33
- OCdt Boily - 0:24:04
The Harrier Race is also an opportunity for squadrons to gather points for the Commandants Cup. The following times are based on the first 25 people who crossed the finished line for their Squadron. The top three squadrons were:
- 7 Squadron - Avg. time 0:21:59
- 12 Squadron - Avg. time 0:22:11
- 2 Squadron - Avg. time 0:22:32
In wild contrast to the Harrier Race of Saturday morning, Regatta Day dawned bright and beautiful on the water. Pumped up from an unexpected afternoon of rest the day before, the first years marshalled themselves by the docks at 1255, eyeing the course that would be determining the next key event of FYOP 2014.
Rain or shine, the Regatta is a traditional event of FYOP that marks an opportunity for first years to truly capitalize on squadron pride. Colors ranged the docks as the squadrons gathered themselves to support their first years, and items acquired during the previous day's race were reacquired with admirable shows of determination.
It was an afternoon full of bragging, competing and joy at the first years' first weekend with the Wing. All of the times were incredibly close, ranging from just over two minutes and not once breaking three. With such a promising start, FYOP 2014 will no doubt continue to amaze and captivate their Wing, and perhaps surprise us when the obstacle course at the end of September joins them at last to the age-old community of RMC.
The top three first year flights and their times are as follows:
- Fighter (2 Squadron) - 2:16
- Hunter (12 Squadron) -2:44
- Tango (7 Squadron) - 2:45