Home' Air Force News : July 5th 2012 Contents DEFENCE TRANSITIONS
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July 5, 2012
WHEN SGT Sean Seery
pushes off from San
Diego bound for New
York in the Tour of Duty
ride, he will be on the way to the
scene of one of his greatest personal
In 2008 SGT Seery ruptured a
disc in his lower back while running
along the zig zag track at RAAF
The injury left his left leg par-
tially paralysed from the knee down.
This was devastating for a man
who had been competing in endur-
ances races since he was a school-
boy, and whose credits included
three Gold Coast marathons, two
Hell of the West triathlons, two
Yeppoon half ironman races, seven
Noosa triathlons, two Brisbane mar-
athons, the Busselton ironman and
the Port Macquarie ironman.
The ruptured disc was repaired
But SGT Seery, of the 22SQN
A RAAF airman will join a
peloton of US and Australian
military personnel, firemen and
policemen who will cycle from
one side of the US to the other
finishing up at Ground Zero in
New York on September 11.
John Martin reports.
Ground Defence Training Section at
RAAF Base Richmond, was off his
bike for about eight months.
Despite resuming running a cou-
ple of months after the operation, he
had lingering doubts.
"I didn't know if I could ever get
back to doing endurance exercise
activities,"SGT Seery said.
But he did not give up.
"Once you start doing distance
events, you can't stop. The games
your mind plays with you is the best
thing about it. Your body can do it.
It's your mind that stops you," he
He and his wife Niomie decided
to combine a trip to the US to visit
friends with him having a crack
at the US Air Force marathon at
Wright Patterson Air Force Base
in Dayton, Ohio, in September last
He was elated to finish the race.
Given this never-say-die back-
ground, SGT Seery is obviously an
apt person to represent Air Force
in the Tour of Duty ride.
"The experience for me will be
life-changing," SGT Seery said.
"My goal is to ride across
the US with the team of riders
who will push each other to their
absolute limit and realise their full
potential and not end up in the sag
wagon. We will start as a team
and, hopefully with no accidents,
finish as a team."
He's not underestimating how
hard it will be.
"I have done my own train-
ing in the past and ridden up to
1000km a week for a month. The
pain in my legs during this time
was unbelievable. It hurt to lie
down and sleep at night. I can
say now that this ride is going to
be painful and the climb through
Colorado is not only going to be
lung-busting, it will test every bit
of willpower all the riders have on
the day," he said.
He won't reach Ohio until
about 3000km into the event.
The course will travel through
the state to Cleveland, which is
about an hour and a half drive
north of Wright Patterson Air
SGT Seery recently contested
the Port Macquarie ironman, but
he has put the running and swim-
ming legs on hold for the time
being. Now it's mostly bike, with
a lot of hills.
As preparation for the US,
he is riding four hours a day
six days a week. He aims to do
about 750km a week with a large
amount of core work to protect
He is concerned about climb-
ing to attitude and seeing snow
peaks ("that's lung-busting
and going to hurt") and riding
through the Nevada Desert where
the hot dry winds will promote
But it's the kind of challenge
he obviously relishes. Bring it on.
My goal is to ride across the US with the team of
riders who will push each other to their absolute limit
and realise their full potential and not end up in the
sag wagon. We will start as a team and, hopefully
with no accidents, finish as a team.
-- SGT Sean Seery
THIS is the first time ADF rid-
ers have been involved in the
Tour of Duty ride. SGT Seery's
ADF colleagues will be MAJ Ty
Domin, who is also the contingent
commander, soldier SGT Daniel
Ferguson and PO Brian Fish. There
will also be four Australian fire-
men, four Australian policemen,
four US military personnel, four
US firemen and four US policemen
to remember those who died on
September 11, 2001, and honour
the people who have served or are
on active duty.
The event will start with a
reception on board USS Midway at
San Diego on August 11, hits the
road on August 12 and ends on
September 11 when the cyclists
walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
In between are 20 stages
covering 15 states and 4314km
through valleys, deserts and
The route will pass through
Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Flagstaff,
the Grand Canyon, Denver,
Oklahoma City, Memphis, Nashville,
Indianapolis, Chicago, Cleveland,
Philadelphia and New York.
Every dawn of the ride will be
dedicated to the people whose
lives were taken in their tour of
duty, and each day other cyclists
will be invited to start out with the
A Facebook site will be set up
for the ride.
In conjunction with the ride, a
concert is being planned in honour
of servicemen and women and
organisers are already anticipating
up to 70,000 spectators.
Rolling support across US
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