Any niggles in the legs

2Lt Sam Westlake

2Lt Sam Westlake

Second Lieutenant Sam Westlake blogs from the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, about another day of training on the punishing P Company training course.

Let me make one thing clear: a marathon is 26.2 miles. Today we did considerably more than that. This day started as any other – alarms synchronized at 0600 hrs and gradually the 5 survivors in my room crawled out of bed and to the wash room. This was a day I wanted get behind me. Myself and the other Parachute Regiment  officer stretched off and had Alpen and Weetabix respectively while the Corpsmen attended the early morning sick parade. As Duty Student I marched them down to the lines and hoisted the P Company flag while the three squads sat in their squad rooms sipping water.

The first event of the day was Snake’s Pass – an 11-mile run with a long and winding hill – hence the name. Don’t think that because it’s 11 miles it will be steady. Snake’s Pass is quick, with hills that will highlight any niggles in the legs. When the run finished, it was back to camp for a quick turnaround before the day/night navigation exercise. We were released from the P Company lines in squads of 3 or 4 on what we were told would be a 16 mile navigation exercise to be completed within 6 hours, ending at a wood block where we would harbour for the night. The exercise was indeed 16 miles – but as the crow flies. Taking this, plus the miles to the start point in to account, it’s closer to 24 and a real test of determination. It is also a great opportunity to see every track in North Yorkshire…

9 thoughts on “Any niggles in the legs

  1. Oh dear Lord I would have thought Snake’s Pass would be the highlight of the entire training, not the morning wake-up warmer! Hmm maybe I should get to the gym as movement is definitely overrated and it sounds like I’ll need some stamina if I’ll ever make it through Officer Training! Survive!!!

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  2. Alpen!!! Whatever happened to the good old British Army banger and beans!! Ditch the Alpen – too much sugar (even the sugar free!!) Have a big bowl of porridge instead good for slow release energy which you need for the long runs!!

    All the best.

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  3. Training area of catterick is really challenging.It can be nice experience to taste of life as a infantry soldier.

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  4. Conserve energy-put matresss on floor & roll out out of bed-lol X Use fresh juice in alpen-not muscus chest clogging milk. xx

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  5. I did an engineers fam visit with this guy! Great to see where people are a few years down the line!

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  6. I was sent to P-Coy through The Guards Independent Para selection in the 70’s was as fit as a fiddle P-Coy was the finest thing I have ever done, you find out a bunch about yourself there, hang in and put in all you have each day as it does get easier promise?

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