Fusiliers compete in walking competition

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Fusiliers from south east Northumberland have undertaken a challenge to hike 50 miles in two days in preparation for a walking competition.

The Fifth Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which has a TA centre in Ashington, has entered a competition which is held for all services within NATO.

The final of the event will take place in Belgium later this month.

In order to get into the finals, teams must attend one of three qualifying weekends, where they must walk 53 miles over two days with at least 10kg on their backs.

The Fusiliers – including members from Ashington and Blyth – travelled to Gareloch Head to take part in the qualifier.

A huge array of teams had entered from the US Air Force to the Royal Navy and cadet units from across the UK and the world.

Sergeant Chesterton, who organised the entry, said: “The team finished within the allocated time and even began overtaking other teams in the second half of day two.

“As they walked into the finish they were played in by local pipers in true Scottish style.

“The challenge was much tougher than we thought, butwe were not prepared to give up.

“It was a test of not just physical ability, but of a person’s mental strength too.”

Having now qualified the soldiers are preparing to deploy to Belgium where they will walk 20 miles a day for a gruelling four days.