Formation Run brings out the best in sailors

Participants take off from the start line at the Formation Run in Dockyard on Aug. 25.

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

The music was pumping at the finish line, and so were the hearts of participants.

A strong showing of over 500 military members, including Captain (Navy) Kevin Whiteside, Base Commander, turned out for CFB Esquimalt’s Formation Run on Aug. 25.

“I’m super-stoked about the turnout and to see an incredible team of awesome Canadians turn out for some fitness on a Friday morning,” Capt(N) Whiteside said after completing the race.

The monthly event challenges personnel of all units to run or walk the 5km course that starts at the entrance to Y-Jetty and then winds its way through Naden and Dockyard.

Sailor Third Class (S3) Andrew Ouellet of HMCS Calgary blew away the competition and had the fastest overall time of all participants, clocking in at the finish line at Y-Jetty at 18’34”.

“It feels great to win again because I also finished first in last month’s run,” S3 Ouellet said. “There are some great runners at the Base, and I hope others come out to the next run and challenge me for the title.”

It was an exciting finish between two of the top female runners at the Base: Sailor First Class (S1) Amanda Polus of the Patrol Craft Training Unit and Lieutenant (Lt) Anabelle St-Martin of Transportation and Electrical Mechanical Engineering (TEME). S1 Polus turned on the jets at the finish line to beat her friend by five seconds with a time of 18’59”.

Sailor Third Class (S3) Andrew Ouellet of HMCS Calgary and Sailor First Class (S1) Amanda Polus of the Patrol Craft Training Unit, male and female winners of the Formation Run, celebrate their victories at the finish line. S3 Ouellet was top male finisher with an unbeatable time of 18:34 and S1 Polus clocked in at 18:59.

“I got into running because of a formation run and that is also where I met Annabelle,” she said. “We always like to challenge each other because it brings out the best in us.”

The names of Lt. St-Martin and S1 Polus may sound familiar to Lookout readers – that’s because they finished first (19’02”) and second (19’56”), respectively, in the women’s military category at this year’s Canadian Armed Forces Running Championship in Ottawa on June 27. Lt. St-Martin also finished second among women in this year’s Navy Run 5km course on June 17 with a time of 19’08”.

For others, getting out and participating also provided a vital morale boost and early morning pick-me-up.

HMCS Regina saw a strong turnout of 75 runners, most wearing purple t-shirts emblazoned with the ship’s number 334.

Members of HMCS Regina assemble for a group shot before the start of the Formation Run in Dockyard on Aug. 25. Photos: Peter Mallett/Lookout

Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Nick Kucher, Regina’s Executive Officer, also laced up his sneakers to take part and challenged other ships in the fleet while congratulating the ship’s company for their enthusiasm.

“The Formation Run is a great way to interact with other members of the fleet and bring back the spirit of competition,” LCdr Kucher said. “We are up to challenging any other frigates or MCDV’s in the fleet to top our participation numbers today.”

The next Formation Run is scheduled for Sept. 29 and will see runners dawn Orange T-shirts to commemorate Truth and Reconciliation Day.

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