The Ironman Competition of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group not only tests the physical endurance of those who dare take on the challenge, but also provides an opportunity to raise funds for an important organization in the community: the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke.
“This event gives the soldiers of our brigade a focus point throughout the year. They get into the mind frame that this is an event they’re going to participate in and compete in. It gives them a training goal to prepare themselves physically, which is a huge challenge and hurdle to prepare yourself for this event, as well as mentally, as they build up to the day of the event,” described Captain Steve Rebeiro tasked with the Ironman Competition.
Similar to other competitions like the Mountain Man Challenge, the Ironman competition which takes place at Garrison Petawawa starts at the crack of dawn at 4:00 a.m. with a 32 km march. Next is a 4 km portage that leads up to the Ottawa River where the participants must paddle 8 km. The race finishes with another 6 km march. All-in-all the course is 50 km with participants required to carry a 40-lb rucksack.
“It’s mental and physical which are two things that are paramount in the jobs that they do and to the success of our missions. The day of, they put those to the test. It’s essentially a tester to prove they have what it takes to do the difficult jobs assigned to them,” said Rebeiro.
The estimated participation for this year is 550. The participants will be broken up into two groups one taking on Ironman on Sept. 22 the challenger day. The second group will attempt the course on Sept. 23, the contender day.
Though some soldiers compete individually, there are team goals set for each unit. These teams train together and have their own fitness program created with the assistance of PSP staff.
“Within every unit there’s a robust program that’s integrated with PSP staff to really ensure that these soldiers are in the best possible condition for this competition,” said Rebeiro.
For the second year in a row, the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke has been chosen as the organization that IronMan will be sponsoring with a fund target of $32,000. As of now, almost $18,000 have been raised, but Rebeiro is confident they’ll reach the goal closer to the days of the competition.
The Boys and Girls Club was chosen because of its prominence in the community. Many soldiers from the base volunteer there and their families are part of the programs. To sponsor a participant visit the competition’s fundraising site.
“This particular organization not only branches out to the youth but also they really affect various areas of our community,” said Rebeiro.
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