Exercise Achilles

On 7 Sep 16, DMG(SW) made the long journey up to Marne Barracks Catterick to compete in Exercise Achilles – the inter-DMG pentathlon. The event saw teams representing DMGs from up and down the country taking part in five arduous event back to back. DMG(SW) put forward five individuals to take part in all aspects of the competition and a relay team who passed the baton through the different elements.

The pentathlon began bright and early with a 300m swim in the refreshing waters of Ellerton Lake. Here S/Lt Williams’ impressive performance allowed DMG(SW)’s relay team to gain a huge advantage as she stormed ahead of her fellow competitors. Seasoned triathletes S/Lt Vincent and PONN Wallis also got off to a blistering pace in the swim element which gave them precious time to play with as they continued on into the next element of the race.

After exiting the water, contestants stripped down their wetsuits, donned their trainers, had a quick sip of water and started out on the 10km run towards Catterick. Although the sun was beginning to beat down hard at this stage the route was fairly forgiving. A mixture of roads and public footpaths weaved around Ellerton Lake towards Catterick with hardly a hill in sight. DMG(SW) team members made their way along the runway and to the next handover station which was set up and manned by the excellent support team, Lt Jeffreys and POMT Hammond.

Competitors now faced the cycle phase. A 45km route made its way through the small country roads out west towards Bellerby (for those who didn’t accidentally end up on the A1). Much like the run, the elevation was fairly constant however the sun continued to shine, the dehydration began to set in and the cramp shortly followed. Lt Beswicks cycling training and his slightly competitive nature payed off and allowed him to further the relay team’s already impressive time. Midway through the cycle came the shoot element of the event. With only five shots and some very significant time penalties for shots off target, this meant that every round counted.

Now moving into the final phase with sore legs and some fairly tired brains was the orienteering. Competitors were given only an aerial map of the local surrounding which indicated each electronic checkpoint’s location. Participants were to move in order between each checkpoint, checking in at the electronic markers along the way. Checkpoint 20 marked the final point in the orienteering and therefore the entire event with Cdr Piper bringing home the baton for team DMG(SW)’s relay team.

After a quick freshen up, all teams met back at Catterick for the BBQ and prize giving. Here team members were all able to catch up with old faces and strengthen the relationship amongst the various different units. DMS(SW)’s efforts all payed off as we secured a fanatic result - placing a third out of all eleven teams. A phenomenal effort from all of DMG(SW) with first place very much in sight for the next pentathlon, see you next year!

Thank you to S/Lt Miller for this article and also click here to see some more pictures of the day.