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April 25, 2013
RUNNING MISCONCEPTION: Long distance running may be viewed as a
lonely individual sport, but it is also a means to create team spirit, personal
fitness, diversity, challenge and fun.
Photo: CPL Aaron Curran
Go the distance
for pure running
The perception of distance
running as an individual
sport, that personifies the
image of the lonely long-
distance runner pounding
the pavement, is largely due to the
inability of the sport to be viewed as
exciting and dynamic.
An advantage triathlon has over
pure running is its ability to gener-
ate team spirit since the triathlon
is both an individual challenge and
has team components.
Triathletes usually train and
compete together, whereas runners
seldom come together except in
Running long distance is often
viewed as not altogether exciting. In
many respects, the myth is reality,
so why fight it?
The myth surrounding distance
running is equally alive and well
in the ADF where running contin-
ues to play a vital part in training
individuals to achieve the physical
attributes required in the perfor-
mance of military roles.
The challenge for Defence, in
particular for the ADF Running and
Athletics Association, is to over-
come perception and old paradigm
Competitions include 10km road
race, a State teams championship
over the half marathon distance and
track and field.
The principle focus for the
Association has been to promote
running as a means to create team
spirit, personal fitness, diversity and
challenge and fun.
There has been some resurgence
in cross county and athletics carni-
vals and a general upturn in interest
in distance running. The result has
been increased participation and
One aspect that we tend to forget
is that running is a low risk, high-
return activity and participation in
the sport enables anyone to achieve,
to excel and to challenge them-
selves irrespective of their ability.
Most runners will agree that
through running they can achieve
their ultimate challenge, no matter
what the distance, terrain or envi-
ronment, and that distance running
in particular, presents endless scope
for variety irrespective of one's age,
size or shape.
Anyone can become a distance
runner and in doing so become a
member of a team of competitors
who take part.
No doubt everyone who has
run, whether it was a marathon,
half-marathon or shorter event,
has at some stage experienced the
immense exhilaration, excruciating
pain, total physical exhaustion and
disappointment that comes from
tackling the sport.
But there is a dividend at the
end, which makes it all seem worth-
Distance running has its virtues
-- the pain of the run doesn't last
forever, but the memories that come
with participation, personal chal-
lenge and achievement as a team
Source: ADF Running and Athletics
Association website: http://www.adf.
There is no doubt that distance running can involve long and lonely
hours, but CAPT Frank Kresse shows that it's not all about the
journey, but more about the destination.
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