Navy conquers bridges

Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), POIS James Whittle (photographer)

Location(s): Perth, WA

Topic(s): Running

RAN members who competed in the Asics Bridges Fun Run (in front of HMAS Warramunga at Fleet Base West, WA). L-R: LEUT Will Singer; Petty Officer Electronics Technician Submarines John Wheelhouse; SBLT Sarah Connor; Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Ben Higgins; Petty Officer Electronic Technician Submarines Sara Clarke; Petty Officer Marine Technician Submarines Jamie Saunders; and LCDR Kelly Masters. (photo: POIS James Whittle)
RAN members who competed in the Asics Bridges Fun Run (in front of HMAS Warramunga at Fleet Base West, WA). L-R: LEUT Will Singer; Petty Officer Electronics Technician Submarines John Wheelhouse; SBLT Sarah Connor; Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Ben Higgins; Petty Officer Electronic Technician Submarines Sara Clarke; Petty Officer Marine Technician Submarines Jamie Saunders; and LCDR Kelly Masters.

Thirteen Navy and four Army members represented the Australian Defence Force Running and Athletics Association (ADFRAA) at the Asics Bridges 10km road race held at Elizabeth Quay in Perth, crossing the three prominent bridges located around the city’s picturesque Swan River.

All 17 Defence team runners completed the course, with no dawdling from Navy’s Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Benjamin Higgins who was the fastest team runner across the line, completing the course in 43.10 minutes.

Royal Australian Navy’s ADFRAA patron Captain Michael Manfield said that running is a great way to improve fitness towards Navy's mission ‘to fight and win at sea’.

“Participating in athletics and running events, from track events to Saturday Park Run events and upwards is a fun and social way to achieve a higher level of mental and physical fitness,” Captain Manfield said.

“ADFRAA support a mixture of track, road and trail events in every state and territory, and seek participation from all standards of runner. 

“There is an opportunity for Navy members to get more involved in ADFRAA by participating in these events, and volunteering to lead as team managers and committee members.”

Leading Seaman Higgins said that the Bridges 10km was his first proper running event that he has participated in since his teenager years, indicating a promising running future.

“I had been training for a half-marathon that was a week after the Bridges run and saw this as the perfect way to test myself,” Leading Seaman Higgins said.

“I picked a pace that was fast for me and stuck to it, the course was mostly flat and the scenery around the city was a nice distraction.

“The only pinch came from the Narrows Bridge with about 2km to go, a push right at the end saw me come through with a personal best time,” he said.

The team is already in training for the 2019 Chevron City to Surf, a multi-distance event held on 25 August between Perth City Centre and City Beach Oval.

Defence Members can access further information by searching for ADFRAA on the VCDF intranet site on the Defence Protected Network.