AWRUN2Camaraderie took on a whole new meaning when the families of 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment set themselves a half-marathon challenge. The team told Army&You more…

IN THE summer of 2013, a group of us started training out on the sports field with the Army PTIs.

As the season came to an end, membership had grown dramatically and the pitches were taken over with committed wives pushing out sprints and burpees.

“Phys” may be a part of our husbands’ jobs, but for us it took everything we had to turn up four nights a week.

Bringing out our best

Out on the fields there’s no rank, everyone’s troubles are left at the door and for that one hour, it was just about us.

Corporal Foster and his team soon made us realise that we had already begun quite a journey just by turning up.

By Christmas, belief had been born, confidence was growing and it was then that the gauntlet of the Shamrock Half Marathon was laid in front of us.

The commitment required to train for a half marathon is no secret, but this was a military wives half marathon.

Training on dark nights with head torches, battling wind, rain and snow, was difficult enough, but added to this were our absentee husbands who were in Worcester helping with the floods or deployed in Afghanistan. But, we overcame it all; failure was not an option.

Feeling proud

It was a proud and emotional moment when lined up in front of the battalion at the St Patrick’s Day parade.

The Killaloo, our regimental song, was piped and cheers rang out as we began the long run ahead.

As we ran, we worked hard together; giving encouragement when it was needed to keep morale high.

As we crossed that finish line with our husbands and the battalion watching on, we knew they were proud but not nearly as proud as we were of ourselves.

We raised more than £3,500 for the Royal Irish Welfare team through this challenge.

We celebrate the achievements of our soldiers frequently, but just this once it was about us, the silent ranks.

This is not a story of the pain and endurance required to complete a half marathon; rather a story of how, when a group of Army wives come together, we can achieve anything.

There is Army strong and then there is Army wives strong.

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