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August 4, 2011
Far cry from the gym
IN THE space of a week starting on
August 7, mountainbiker CPL Michael
Crummy expects to ride about 400km
in three different events.
No big deal, you may say.
After all, this is the same man who
creamed all his ADF opponents in the
world 24-hour solo mountainbike (MTB)
championship in Canberra last October.
He finished 20th of 411 riders in that
race, completing 21 laps of a gruelling
But this story takes a bit of a detour,
which adds to the degree of difficulty
confronting CPL Crummy.
Just two days after the world titles he was
scheduled to leave with 37SQN for a four-
month rotation at Al Minhad Air Base in the
Luckily for him, the
departure was delayed for a
week which gave him time
to recover from the mental
and physical exhaustion that
comes from hurtling around a
MTB course night and day for
But it was only a reprieve.
Soon he had started adapting to
his new environment.
"Apart from working, eating
and sleeping, I did have time to
get to the gym," CPL Crummy
"Initially, I attempted to just
train on the stationary bikes and
the PTIs were happy for me to
fit my own saddle to one of the
On the advice of others who had been
at Al Minhad, he had brought his own slim-
line saddle with him from Australia.
"My opinion is that gym/spin bikes sad-
dles are made a little too soft and way too
large. They are okay for a 15-20 minute
warm up but really no good for the extend-
ed sessions I was intending to do."
Not that it mattered for long.
"It turned out my body wasn't prepared
for stationary bike training just yet and I
turned to cross-training using weight and
He did not have to go completely cold
"There are quite a few bikes available
to borrow if you were into riding up and
down the main
later, though, and
back home, it did not take much for him to
get serious again.
His first event back was a six-hour race
on the mid-north NSW coast, in which he
surprised himself by finishing third, and
since then there have been trips to race in
Canberra and Alice Springs as well nearer
to home in Sydney.
He has a number of events coming up,
three of them quite soon: the Husky 100km
on the NSW coast on August 7, and the Jet
Black 12-hour and Rocky Trail Grand Prix
in Sydney on August 13 and 14.
"It will be a big week."
Fortunately, the 12-hour and GP event
are held at the same location just up the road
from RAAF Base Richmond where he is
based, so his travel time will be reduced.
Running at the
Al Minhad Air
Base gym are
CPL Beau Hill.
Photo: PO Damian
Kokoda run in the desert
gets a move on
in the Ingkerreke
MTB Enduro in
Alice Springs in
May. He says it
was a fun week
Photo left and on
Back Page: Rapid
we saw his
triumph at the
world 24 solo
last year, just
he left for a
the Middle East.
He's back in the saddle
and on the move after four
months at Al Minhad Air
Base, writes John Martin.
A TEAM from Joint Task Force 633, based at Al
Minhad Air Base in the MEAO, has raised more
than $5000 for the Kokoda Challenge charity by
each running 96km in a time of 18 hours and 20
The money goes to the Kokoda Challenge
Youth Program, which supports disadvantaged
children from Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The team, consisting of CPL Beau Hill, of 2nd
Health Support Battalion, FLTLT Stu Munro, of
Air Support Command Townsville, LAC Matthew
Lamberth, of Combat Support Unit Laverton, CPL
Bronwyn Maclean, of 9 Force Support Battalion,
and MAJ Wayne Bullock, of HQ 1 Div Health
Branch, finished 18th overall out of 300 entrants.
The organisers of the challenge were so
enthused by the concept of a Defence team
participating while deployed in the Middle East,
that they allocated the team the race number
39 -- the same as the 39th Militia who famously
fought to repel the Japanese on the Kokoda Trail
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