SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – The Norwegian Road March may not be the most well-known sporting event this side of Oslo, but for two Army members at U.S. Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., it was their trip into Nordic sporting history.
“The road march is a 30-kilometer event where you have to be in military uniform and carry a 25-pound rucksack,” said this year’s winner, Lt. Col. Garrett Kolo. “It’s a military event sponsored by the Norwegian Military that happens once a year (Oct. 27 this year) in America at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Ind.”
Kolo finished first in the men’s division with a time of two hours and 55 minutes. Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Donahue also participated as part of the USTRANSCOM Joint Transportation Reserve Unit team.
“I got involved with it last year when I saw a notification that they were trying to put together a team here at USTRANSCOM,” Kolo said. “The team trained here on the weekends doing one or two laps on the 6.2-mile airfield track, getting our bodies ready for the event.”
According to Kolo, Dr. Nils Johansen, a retired Norwegian artillery reserve officer, started the event 11 years ago and it has steadily increased in size.
“This year a field of 181 soldiers, airmen and civilians completed the 30 kilometers running, jogging and walking on a hardball road,” Kolo said.
Those who complete the road march in an allotted time are awarded a certificate and the bronze badge for finishing, a silver badge after finishing four marches and a gold badge after completing eight marches, Kolo said.
“The badge is authorized for wear on the ASU (Army service uniform) as a foreign award,” Kolo said. “This year Col. Craig Johnson flew in from Korea to complete his eighth march earning him the gold.”
The next Norwegian Road March is tentatively planned for Saturday Nov. 9, 2013.
Kolo is a deployment plans officer with the JTRU. When he is not doing his Army Reserve time, Kolo is a program manager for Oerlikom, a Swiss company, working on production transfers and new product interdictions.
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