Naval Cadet Adrian Throw paddles his canoe during the gruelling Ironman competition. This race is an intense challenge which includes extensive rucksack marching in combat boots, portaging four kilometres with a canoe, paddling eight kilometres and then completing another run, for a total of 50 kilometres.
by Ncdt (Go Navy!) Adrian Thow
Last week on the 11th of September, myself and nine other of RMC's most physically and mentally tough individuals took part in this year's Ironman competition in Petawawa, Ontario. This race, I can say without a doubt, was one of the proudest moments of my life. This race is an intense challenge which includes extensive rucksack marching in combat boots, portaging four kilometres with a canoe, paddling eight kilometres and then completing another run, for a total of 50 kilometres.
I came out of the race with scars, chafing, blisters, and most of all pride. I represented myself and my college in one the most rigorous races in the Canadian Armed Forces. On Wednesday morning the team woke up at 2 a.m. and stepped off at 4 a.m. into foggy morning dew. All around us was a darkened landscape lit by hundreds of glow sticks swinging from the rucksacks of other members of the Canadian Armed Forces who shared one goal: to prove their mental and physical prowess to themselves.
For me, it wasn't until my twentieth kilometre that I began to see the break of dawn and I realized I was about two hours in. At this point, I was drenched in my own sweat, my legs were starting to give out and I was beginning to feel the weight of my rucksack. After another 12 kilometres I reached the breaking point in the competition: the four kilometre portage. Before coming into this station I heard horror stories of how grown men break down in tears at the sheer physical strain in this part of the race; these stories weren't wrong about the physical strain on the body. After running nearly 32 kilometres, and suddenly walking with 85 lbs, my legs began to cramp. All I felt at that moment was the fear of stopping; I was on the verge of slowing down because I was afraid the pain would be too much, but I kept going and I reached a bit of a break at the canoe.
After more than an hour of canoeing, I reached the docking site where I was greeted by a crowd of around a hundred cheerful supporters; all I could hear was applause and the voice of supporters from RMC, Andrew Jarvis and Adam Goddard, motivating me to go hard to the finish. Getting out of the canoe was a bit difficult after sitting for a long period, (I cramped and fell in the water), but once I got my legs in motion, I kept myself going. I crossed the finish under 7 hours taking 5th place in my race and 1st for RMC. Not long after, Jean-Francois Lizée finished 6th starting the trend of 6 out of the top 20 finishers to be RMC cadets. Myself and OCdts Lizee, Lessard, Hunerfauth, Wiesenberg, Bennett, Raymond, Legge, Marchaldon and Couto did our very best to represent RMC and all the qualities of great officers.