Fusiliers compete in walking competition over two days

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Fusiliers from the borough 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 Tynemouth, 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 four members from North Tyneside – 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 giving 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.

Members of the battalion will be taking part in an Armed Forces Day parade in Alnwick on Sunday, June 30, where they will join other regular and reserve units from across the region to parade through the town from Bowburn picnic area to the castle.

In the evening there will be a Beat the Retreat concert within the castle grounds starting at 6pm, where performers will include the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Northumberland Scottish Pipes and Drums and an RAF drill presentation.