By Senior Airman Stephanie Serrano
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Twenty-eight Central Arkansas service members dawned heavily laden rucksacks and assembled to attempt the grueling Norwegian Foot March on Oct. 30 at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.
The Norwegian Foot March is an 18.6-mile march where competitors strive to complete the course within an allotted amount of time to earn the Norwegian Foot March badge.
Competitors reported to Station One to check-in and have their rucksacks inspected. Next, their rucksacks were weighed and the weight recorded.
The marchers lugged a minimum of 25 pounds in their rucksacks throughout the march, carrying canned goods for donation to a local food bank.
The march began at approximately 6:30 a.m. with participants heading down North Dakota Ave. The route traversed the Robinson Maneuver Training Center using turn around points and requiring a total of 2 full laps to complete the 18.6 mile goal.
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Gregory Slater finished first, besting the strenuous trek in 3 hours and 26 minutes.
The second place finisher was U.S. Army Capt. Trey Marable with a time of 3:36 followed closely by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Jara at 3:37.
First time competitors seem to feel an even deeper sense of achievement for finishing the march.
“It’s a great sense of accomplishment,” Jara said. “I did this first for jointness with the Army; and second, to prove to myself that I could do it. I’m glad to be finished.”
Of the 28 participants who started the march, only 22 completed it in their allotted times, five others did not finish. U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jenny Ragoobir finished with the last qualifying time of 4:53.
Marchers and volunteers contributed four large boxes of canned goods from their rucksack which was and donated to the Arkansas Food Bank. Proceeds from the march also tallied $409, which was donated to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.