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Views From Behind The Bench


Each year during the running of the Tely 10 there are many different races within the race itself. While the primary focus is on the first place male and female finisher, there are many other individuals, groups, and organizations competing against each other. Then, there are those competing against themselves - for personal best times, or the feeling of accomplishment in being one of two thousand runners/walkers to complete the 16 kilometer task.

Each year during the running of the Tely 10 there are many different races within the race itself. While the primary focus is on the first place male and female finisher, there are many other individuals, groups, and organizations competing against each other. Then, there are those competing against themselves - for personal best times, or the feeling of accomplishment in being one of two thousand runners/walkers to complete the 16 kilometer task.

There are many reasons why people of all ages and athletic ability compete in this grueling event. For many its the competitive juices that compel them to try and be the best they can be. For others, its the conditioning aspect that urges them to obtain a healthy lifestyle. For still others, its the training program leading up to the race - thats where they derive the greatest benefit - an introduction to the world of running/walking, that will last a lifetime. For many others, its another leg along the road to recovery from a serious medical problem. Then there are those who just want to get bragging rights over their buddies, fellow workers, group or organization.

On July 22, six members from 9Wing Gander were at the starting line for the 80 running of this historic race: Sgt Shawn King PSC, Sgt Rob Valenti 103 SAR Sqn., Sgt. Don Law WAccom, MCpl Sean Fanning EME, MCpl Brad Power 103 SAR Sqn., Mr. Nigel Summers PSP. These six members became the first ever team to enter the Tely 10 from CFB Gander. They all completed the grueling course under near 90 per cent humidity conditions, and did both the Unit and the Town of Gander proud. Each member met or exceeded their goals and thoroughly enjoyed the experience - both the actual race and the training leading up to same.

To add icing to an already successful task, the 9 Wing contingent was teamed up with the squad from CFS St. Johns, to form the Canadian Forces team in the Battle of the Badges. Here they competed against teams representing the RNC, Fire Department, RCMP and HMPCO. The Forces team romped home in first place, to not only claim top honours for the first time in the history of the race, but bragging rights for the next 12 months! MCpl Brad Power beat the elements in a time of 67:58, while MCpl Sean Fanning was right on his heels in a time of 70:48 to help clinch the title for the Forces team.

While this was the first year 9 Wing entered this prestigious race, Im assured it wont be the last. Planning has already started for next years run for the badges, and its a safe bet there will be a lot more runners from CFB Gander at the start line come July 2008, to help defend the title. Congratulations guys, you did a great job!



Timeout and Overtime

Quite an interesting letter I read just last week re the demise of recreation facilities. Reference was made to the RCMP Musical Ride taking place on the Art Walker Memorial Ball Park in the Town of Gander, and the condition of the diamond following the event. The point the writer was making was that too many recreation facilities are turned to other uses when there is a lull in that particular activity, with no thought being given to the kids coming along in a particular sport a few years down the road. This is altogether a common occurrence in this province.

The writer spoke of the soccer pitch that was destroyed some years ago due to there being no leagues at the time. Result - a few years later two new soccer pitches had to be constructed in another area, which by the way, are still not up to scratch. While this was nearsighted as far as soccer was concerned, it was criminal as far as the track and field community was concerned - including the school physical education program. For years the track around that soccer pitch hosted the High School Provincial Track and Field Meet and the Royal Canadian Legion Youth Meet. Then the community wonders what happened to track and field? One can only wonder and speculate how well todays youth athlete would do in the world of track and field, if the facilities were available..

I could go on and on with this subject, not only in Gander but in other communities as well. You got an extra ice surface - hang unto it! I challenge anyone to drop a baseball and a softball in front of a kid - 99 per cent will pick up the baseball! We need those baseball diamonds, its a game that will never die.

Thats 30 for this week. Remember, Its easier to build a child than mend an adult and an ounce of pluck is worth a ton of luck! Until next week.

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