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Bermuda soldiers get in on the action

A group of Bermuda Regiment soldiers yesterday ran the traditional Bermuda Day half-marathon — with a difference.

The group of 10 soldiers ran the 13 mile plus course in combat gear and boots and carrying regulation backpacks weighing 30lbs each.

And all but one — who had to drop out early due to severe cramp — completed the entire route.

Regiment Adjutant Major Ben Beasley, who led the group, many of them January entrants now part of the Junior NCOs Cadre, said: “We weren't the fastest group out there.

“But we set out to do it as a group and we took care of each other. It's all about esprit de corps and making sure we kept our spirits up.”

Maj Beasley added that the Regiment team got a rousing reception as they neared the city and the finishing line at Barnard Park.

“The public really helped us on — we felt like celebrities out there,” he said. “The public were fantastic and their support was great for us.”

Maj Beasley said the team was entered in the Appleby Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby to highlight the Regiment's commitment to the community and to the development of its soldiers.

He added: “It's good to get the Regiment out there and highlight the guys going for junior commander level and their abilities.”

But the Regiment runners were not the only soldiers involved in the traditional celebrations.

In addition to the lead role of the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, around a dozen soldiers volunteered to act as marshals for the big day, while the Regiment Boat Troop sailed alongside their Bermuda Police counterparts policing the waters around the Island.

And the Bermuda Rifle & Drill Team — a civilian group, but the brainchild of Regiment Sergeant Debbie Symons and trained by Warwick Camp drill instructors — made their premiere appearance in the parade through Hamilton.

Premier and National Security Minister Michael Dunkley stopped to wish the troops luck at the start in Somerset — and to check the bags all weighed the regulation 301bs.

Maj Beasley said: “Participation in events like this helps underline the role the Regiment plays in the community — in addition to the major roles we train for in areas like disaster relief and public order duties.

“We aim to produce not only good soldiers, but good citizens as well — and show that our soldiers can have fun while they're wearing the uniform.”

Equipment check: Arrington Smith prepares to run in the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby with the rest of his companions from Bermuda Regiment

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Published May 27, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 27, 2014 at 12:54 am)

Bermuda soldiers get in on the action

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