PARAS’ 10 to complete hat-trick in Colchester

 

 

The third running of the PARAS’ 10 charity challenge in Colchester will take place on Sunday May 18.

 

The increasingly popular race is a 10-mile run, open to all, that can be completed as a cross-country race or as the P Company Challenge, based on one of the tests for Para Training and Selection. This is completed wearing boots and a 35lb backpack, with a target time of 1 hour 50 minutes.

 

The PARAS’10, long a feature of life at the old Para depot in Aldershot, was revived at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire in 2008 and first came to Colchester in 2012.

 

The race, sponsored by YDS Boots, sets off from Abbey Field at 11.00am. The Red Devils, the freefall display team of The Parachute Regiment, are scheduled to drop in at 10.45am to start proceedings.

 

The route goes from out to and around Friday Woods and back, taking in hills and water obstacles that are familiar to Colchester-based soldiers. Individuals or teams of four may enter.

 

Organiser Major Adam Wilson, of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, said: “The 10-miler is a benchmark measure of fitness for our soldiers, both in the selection process and in subsequent training. So this is a great chance for the public to test themselves against our standards. We set the same target of 1:50 as a challenge, but entrants have three hours to complete the course.”

Proceeds from entry fees go to The Parachute Regiment Charity, which supports soldiers and families in distress and need. A reminder of the crucial role played by The Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan, and sadly the casualties arising, is provided by the Junior Trophies.

 

The Conrad Lewis Trophy, donated by his family, is awarded to the fastest under-19 participant completing the tab. Private Conrad Lewis was killed while serving in Afghanistan in February 2011 and posthumously recognised for his gallantry and “unique bravery”. The 22-year-old, of 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, attached to 3rd Battalion, received a mention in dispatches for his actions as a lead scout while on patrols.

 

The Junior Run Trophy is awarded by the family of Lance Corporal James Bateman He was killed in June 2008 after his patrol was ambushed on their way back from a meeting designed to forge closer links with the local population. James was an active and adventurous sportsman and proud Para and his father Keith will be running this year.

 

Stephen Cooper, Director of the Parachute Regiment Charity, said: “The trophies remind us of why our charity exists and the continuing need to help those affected. But the PARAS’10 is also a celebration of the Airborne spirit and determination to succeed. We welcome all charity runners to undertake this unique test and raise funds for your chosen cause, military or civilian, national or local.

 

“People recognise what a tough challenge this is and will support you with donations. We estimate that over £1.3 million has been raised by charity runners in PARAS’10 since 2008.

 

‘We are delighted that the entries for 2014 have already exceeded last year’s, and anticipate a field of 800 or more. It’s particularly pleasing that many more ladies are taking on the challenge in Colchester - it’s not just for men’

 

For more information and to enter visit www.paras10.com. Online entry is open until noon on Friday May 16, with cash only entries on the day.