A personal blog post by our Sales Director – Alistair Langfield – about his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
Let’s yomp it
I get two sorts of reactions when I tell people about “Survive the Yomp“. Some people instantly understand the challenge of hiking 30 miles, in full battle kit – others think it’ sounds like a walk in the park. “30 miles in under 8 hours? That’s easy!“.
Trust me. It’s a lot tougher than it sounds.
To ‘yomp’ is marine slang for covering a long distance in full battle kit. It’s similar to “TABing” – another army slang term for a tactical advance to battle. It’s not about running flat out. It’s about moving in the most efficient way possible. You walk uphill, and jog/run downhill and on flat ground.
I’m undertaking this challenge, because I want to give a little back to the marines and their families who have sacrificed so much to help keep us safe. The RMCTF is an amazing charity. They make a real difference to the quality of life, to both serving and retired Royal Marines and their families.
It’s also personal. I’ve been overweight and depressed in the past and my asthma has always held me back. The marines are the best of the best. A true inspiration and this challenge has pushed me more than anything before. And considering what some of the Marines have suffered both physically and emotionally…this IS a walk in the park. Letting them down is not an option.
I’ve had exercise induced asthma since primary school, and I always avoided sports with cardiovascular exercise. Now I run regularly and suffer no attack. How did I get over it? Training, lots and lots of training…
I started off just walking fast to and from work, and then introducing intervals of light jogging. And in just 6 months I was running half marathon distances regularly. My asthma will always be a part of my life. I still carry an inhaler and it can be really tough at times (especially if it’s cold). But I’m doing it. I never could have imagined it was possible a year ago. If I can do this – anyone can.
Now in a week I run two shorter 5k distances and one longer 10k or 15k. I wear high quality Lowa combat boots and about 20-25lbs in my backpack to help me get used to carrying weight.
A 15k exercise
On Saturday 12th April, my dad and I we were feeling particularly buoyed by the wave of sponsorship we’ve received to date and decided to do a 15k yomp around the Glennifer Braes Country Park. My dad planned the route and my mum and my cousin Fraser joined us.
Fraser is actually training for the Marines right now. He’s very fit and could easily outpace my dad and I. It was inspiring to have a soon-to-be-marine show us how it’s done!
We set off about 09:30 and the weather was very mixed.
It soon started raining so hard we could have actually worn Scuba Gear and still got wet!
I hadn’t trained in my boots for a couple weeks because of moving house. I could feel my right heel blistering about halfway through. Luckily I had excellent socks on, which provided a double layer of protection – and helped to reduce the friction. I made it to the end without my heel getting too raw or slowing me down too much.
If you’ve taken any inspiration from my ramblings I would be so grateful if you sponsored me to survive the yomp.
You don’t have to yomp to have commando spirit.