A multi-national team of runners, walkers and one inline skater from Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) recently travelled overland from the south coast to the north coast of Bahrain.
CMF is a multinational naval partnership of 30 nations which is headquartered on the island of Bahrain. Its mandate is to promote the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment by countering terrorist acts and related illegal activities.
A team comprising 24 ‘athletes’ represented 18 of CMF’s member nations, reflecting the truly multi-national ethos of CMF. Participants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain and United Kingdom joined in the event.
Runners and walkers each ran a leg of the relay, passing the baton between team members. The route started on the south coast of Bahrain and the planned route stretched 68 kilometres up to the north coast of the island. In the end, the total distance covered ended up being 69 kilometres because of a slight detour from the planned route to ensure the relay ended on a beach on Amwaj Island, for a well-earned swim.
The route took in some of the best sights in Bahrain and the first runners were lucky enough to see a beautiful sunrise from the southern tip of Bahrain, making up for their early start. Other highlights included the Tree of Life, being passed by a touring motorcycle club and local drivers tooting their support. Some participants had more challenging conditions to face, including a steep hill, the midday sun and the odd pot hole.
The team completed the run in an impressive time of 7 hours 15 minutes.
Relay organiser, Wing Commander Rodger Pringle, New Zealand’s Senior National Representative at CMF, said: “Everyone approached the relay with enthusiasm and it was great to see everyone smiling even though they might have been hurting a little in the hot sun. Camaraderie in a combined or coalition environment is so important, particularly in a headquarters, and following this year’s event, I’m sure there will be a few extra people wanting to participate next time.”
It is hoped the event will turn into an annual event and that one year, every CMF member nation will be represented at the relay.