Midshipman first in fitness challenge

This article has photo gallery Published on FLTLT Lauretta Webster (author), WO2 Andrew Hetherington (author), CPL Steve Duncan (photographer), CPL Bill Solomou (photographer)

Location(s): Australian Defence Force Academy, ACT

Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) officers and year three officer cadets do the leopard crawl component of the ADFA Fitness Excellence Challenge 2015. (photo: CPL Steve Duncan)
Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) officers and year three officer cadets do the leopard crawl component of the ADFA Fitness Excellence Challenge 2015.

Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) third year officer cadets and midshipmen participated in a Fitness Excellence Challenge in mid September.

The activity combined a number of elements including a pack run carrying 25 per cent of their body weight, tyre lifts, jerry can carry, leopard crawl, swimming, and an obstacle course.

Leading Seaman Physical Trainer Tara Riley said the challenge encouraged competition between the officer cadets and midshipmen and provided an opportunity to test their techniques.

"We wanted to find the top male and female here at ADFA," Leading Seaman Riley said.

"We also wanted to see how well they have implemented their training and how well they conducted each individual component."

The lead-up training was conducted over a month to allow officer cadets and midshipmen to focus on the different components of the course and to prepare them for this culmination activity.

"Fitness levels need to be at a relatively high standard," Leading Seaman Riley said.

"The fastest recorded time is 25 minutes, but usually officer cadets and midshipmen complete it in about 45-50 minutes."

The first woman over the line was Midshipman Emma Finucan, of 12 Division, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts and would like to be a Maritime Warfare Officer.

"It was my first time competing in the challenge and I started in the third rank with two other women," Midshipman Finucan said.

"It was a close event, the two women that started with me were not far behind me throughout the challenge, but after a while I didn’t know where anyone was and thought maybe they had overtaken me.

"In the end I only ended up finishing nine seconds before the woman behind me in a time of 47min 1sec, which was incredible because I really thought she had me during the run."

To prepare for the event, alongside the two weekly compulsory ADFA-run training sessions, Midshipman Finucan did her own training.

"I do my own personal training in the gym six days a week and the Physical Trainers did an amazing job preparing us in the months leading up to this challenge, ensuring we were safe and at our highest level of fitness," she said.

"They spent a lot of time focusing on all the different elements of battle Physical Training and then we had sessions that incorporated many of the stages of the fitness challenge.

"The event was by far one of the best activities I have done at ADFA, the encouragement everyone gives each other and the joy on people‘s faces when they see how much they were capable of was priceless.

"It is so amazing being able to see people push themselves to what they think was their limit and then even further."

The first male competitor was Army’s Officer Cadet Fraser Jeavons who finished in 36:42.