KFOR Chronicle

2200 feet in a Joint Combined "Operation"

Blisters and tender legs were the some of the results from the traditional DANCON-MARCH on Oct. 5 - but also boosted morale and self-respect for participating soldiers and NGOs who marched the 25 km.

By Maj. Niels Kirkegaard, Danish Battalion PIO, KFOR

Twenty-five kilometres poses no problem for a well-trained soldier. But carrying a weight of 10 kg on your back and "climbing up" a steep mountain from level 450 meters up to 770, and down again, within hours, requires some extra effort.

Over 1,150 women and men from 13 different nations in KFOR, United Nations Mission In Kosovo Police and other Non-Governmental Organisations in Kosovo decided to challenge the mountain and a part of Kosovo's beautiful scenery. Out of these were approximately 300 Germans, 170 Belgians, 100 Brits, 100 French and 100 Swedes.

Only 10 people were unable to complete the march. The Danish Medical Centre's capable personnel practiced their expertise by treating 19 "casualties" in the field and 30 more after they had crossed the finishing line in the camp. 4,500 litres of drinking water was consumed during the day.

Although the event is called a "march", a lot of soldiers chose to run the entire distance. The fastest soldier, Adjudant Chef (Master Sergeant) Heguenauer, from France, managed to complete the 25 kilometres in an impressive 2 hours 19 minutes, followed by two British soldiers 5 minutes later.

The DANCON-MARCH is usually organized four times within 6-month depending on weather conditions. The march follows a route in a beautiful, hilly landscape in the Multi-National Brigade North area. The march starts and ends in the Danish battalion camp Olaf Rye, 3 km west of Mitrovica. The enrollment fee of 18 Euros per person covers expenses for medals, diplomas, refreshments and the logistical set-up. Look for information for the next march and perhaps you to could experience the agony and extasy of a DANCON MARCH.