Pskov paratroopers were winners of the prestigious Peace March, which took place in the Netherlands. This is an annual event held since 1909. They are attended by international military delegations and professional athletes from around the world. They need to cover the distance of 160 kilometers in 4 days. Allowed to move only on foot. This year competed almost 40,000 people. Many due to severe congestion gone the route. However, our paratroopers reached the finish line at full strength.
Four-day marathon in the ancient city of Holland was originally conceived as part of a military exercise, but over time the civil wishing to check your stamina, it is much more. Now the marathon — a cultural-sports event for the organization which each year takes more than a million euros. In the international pedestrian march attended by about 40,000 people, of which 5000 — the military. Despite the fact that all takes place in an atmosphere of celebration, and the surrounding people dance and sing, the parties themselves have an extremely hard. Does not reach the finish line nearly one-sixth of the soldiers and officers, not to mention ordinary people. On the first day c distance of about a thousand people came down in the second — nearly as much. Among the reasons — injuries, overheating and sunstroke. In the history of the march there were even death.
Participate in the marathon and the guys from the Pskov Airborne Division — one of the most battle-worthy Compounds of the Russian army. Pskov — the sister city of Dutch Neymengema. In the race was attended by 13 people who are over 4 days to go the distance of 160 kilometers. "Old injuries start to hurt, rubbed blisters, suffering knee, ankle, heel, — says Mikhail Kurochkin, Pskov Airborne Division paratrooper. — Every day is worse and worse. First day was fine, and the courage to go now."
To meet our team in person, the commander of the Royal Dutch Army Lt. Gen. Martin de Kreyf changed his plans. He presents certificates of paratroopers. Their participation in the march coincided with the year of Russian cross-Holland. "The Russians — our long-standing allies, I am very proud that they are taking part in the march — said de Kreyf. — You see, they are very well prepared physically."
Over 10 kilometers from the finish organized camp. In honor of our children, the only military command of the 34 countries represented, the Dutch orchestra played the national anthem.
Every day, they started at dawn. Every two hours made a stop for 15 minutes. Longer — it is impossible, says Gennady Yagodkin, head of physical training of Russian Airborne Forces: The more you sit, the more difficult it then go ahead. All the more so behind — a heavy load.
Each participant in the sole integrated electronic chip. So the organizers of the route of the track. The Special Commission on the course several times measures the weight of the load. Marathon has become a serious test of endurance.
Prolonged static load on the spine, the load on the heart, breathing problems, but most importantly — regardless of shoes — it's worn out feet in the blood. Of the ten kilograms of drugs by the end of the route there was only five. "I was afraid of heat stroke — recognized Senior Lieutenant Alexei Ogaltsov. — Thank God, no one, even the citizens, on the road did not need help."
For the Russian military is — difficult, but the usual standard. For Europeans — ordeal to which the special commission selects the best six months and their coaches. The second hour of rest in camp by the Americans. They complain about the inhuman conditions of competition in which the main thing — it's reached. Show each other scrapes, sunbathing, sleeping. "We in the States a lot of helicopters, we do not go, we fly — said Sergeant James Smith. — Therefore, for such marches we have to train hard. But I do not understand, why go one hundred miles away, tired, and then fight when you can make sure that you have brought to the battlefield by helicopter? "
Russian paratroopers already at the finish line — with medals. The audience warmly welcomed by our guys standing ovation and applause. Army men involved in the march for the first time since 1995 and for the first time in full force to reach the finish line.