Battling on to great results

Published on Andy Anderson (author)

Location(s): Ottawa, Canada

ABMT Rhys Salis, of FSU-W at HMAS Stirling, running in the  marathon in Ottawa last month. (photo: Unknown)
ABMT Rhys Salis, of FSU-W at HMAS Stirling, running in the marathon in Ottawa last month.

A team of wounded, injured and ill Defence members proudly represented Australia in the Canadian Forces half marathon in Ottawa last month.

Several former Australian Defence Force wounded, injured or ill members also participated, through significant support from the New South Wales Branch of the RSL.

Many of the Australian team members completed the half marathon and 5 kilometre courses in personal best times and were inspired by the large crowd support.

Able Seaman Marine Technician Rhys Salis, of Fleet Support Unit-West at HMAS Stirling, said the Ottawa event was an opportunity to focus on a tough but achievable goal.

"I wanted to participate in this event because I knew it would be a good challenge," Able Seaman Salis said.

"I was just happy to complete the race and I was stoked with my time of 1 hour 54 minutes for the 21 kilometres.

"I would highly recommend this experience for rehabilitation of any kind."

Contingent Commander Air Commodore Hayden Marshall said many of the Australians competing in Ottawa had overcome big challenges just to get to the starting line.

"Some have been wounded on operations, some were injured or became ill while in Australia," Air Commodore Marshall said.

"I'm enormously proud of the spirit they displayed in preparing for this event and completing it.

"It will give them the confidence and motivation to continue their rehabilitation back home."

Participation in the half marathon was part of the Australian Defence Force program that supports the rehabilitation of wounded, injured or ill people. This includes sending representatives to adaptive sports competitions like the Invictus Games, Canadian Forces Soldier Allied Winter Sports Camp and the US Marine Corps trials.