Transition Unit members conduct 160-km relay for Soldier On
By Ryan Melanson,
A group of Halifax-based members of the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Unit NS-NL put themselves to the test over October 25-26, embarking on a 160-kilometre team relay run from Halifax to Greenwood, raising $2,700 for Soldier On through their efforts.
For LCdr Darcy Burd, the unit’s Deputy Commander Officer, the event coincided with his celebrating 32 years since joining the Canadian Armed Forces on October 26. He was also in great shape to help cover some kilometres for the team as a proud recipient of a Platinum score, the highest possible, on his latest FORCE Evaluation test.
“I decided to take part to celebrate my 32 years of service and do this run along with my teammates and support a great charity,” LCdr Burd said. His role with the Transition Unit has led to closer ties with Soldier On and an appreciation for the opportunities for recreation, sport and camaraderie the organization offers to former and current military members.
“I can’t think of a better organization to support and hopefully this is a way for us to highlight what they do, specifically that Soldier On isn’t just for veterans, it’s for serving members as well.”
The team lead and unit CO, LCol Ross Bonnell, said he and his staff had multiple objectives in organizing the relay. In addition to raising funds and awareness for Soldier On, they also sought to shine a light on the CAF Transition Group itself, and the important services it offers CAF members and their families.
The physical challenge of the lengthy relay, and the team cohesion that comes from accomplishing such a task, was also a key goal.
“It’s a challenge of mental and physical resilience. There’s going to be a lot of kilometres on our boots over the next day, and not a lot of sleep, so we’re challenging ourselves and each other,” LCol Bonnell said before kicking off the relay.
“We’ve got runners of all levels. Some of us do it competitively and others are just beginning. We’re not here to break records, but to achieve some team building and support a great cause.”
The team departed from the Transition Centre Halifax at 10 a.m. on October 25, with the 10 members taking shifts running in 30-minute increments along Nova Scotia Trunk 1. They eventually reached the Transition Centre Greenwood, successfully completing the relay, at roughly 7 a.m. the next morning.Read more about the CAF Transition Group here, and to support the X-Treme Relay team with a donation to Soldier On, visit https://www.soldieron.ca/Donate.