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Arnhem Coy's heart is racing

By Cpl. Diego Bunuel
First published in
SFOR Informer #98, October 11, 2000

Mrkonjic Grad - The sound of feet beating on the pavement outside the Shoe Factory Camp has set the tempo of the King's Own Royal Border Regiment for 168 hours straight.
During this unique, week-long challenged set up by Sgt. Maj. Neil Smith the men of the Arnhem Company each raced around their camp and around the clock to raise money for a local charity and trust back in England.
This project is Smith's brain-child which consisted in running, in shifts, the distance between their Mrkonjic Grad camp and their Catterick Garison in North Yorkshire, that about 1,800 kilometres.
"Because people always do marathons (to raise money) I wanted to do something completely different," Smith said. "And to my knowledge it's never been done before."
The aim is to raise money for charities in keeping with the regiment's operational commitment back in the UK, said Lt. Rohan De Silva. And at the end of the race the participants had managed to collect POUND 1,525, shattering their early estimates.
"The Culvert Trust based in Keswick helps disabled children by organising and funding special adventure training holidays," De Silva said. "And also the Sisters of Srpska an NGO based in Sipovo which organises and funds children's summer camps and child trauma sessions in Bosnia."
But before being able to find the money, which was the easy part, the soldiers had to go on shifts to run for one-hour straight around the camp.
"I did it at 1 a.m. and it was a bit boring and cold, it's better to do it during the day time when people cheer you on," said Lance Cpl. Michael Whittaker as he checked the time on one of the runners. "But it is for a good cause."

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