Every British Army Gurkha soldier will be very familiar with the fearsome ‘Doko’ - a gruelling physical challenge carrying 25kg of sand uphill for five miles in the Himalayas.
The run normally serves as a pivotal moment in the selection process of every aspiring Gurkha recruit.
However, this time it is soldiers from 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment who have swapped the foothills of the Himalayas for the Queens Avenue playing fields in Aldershot to take on a challenge in the spirit of the Doko.
Young Gurkha recruits are made to run the tough ascending course in the foothills of the Himalayas carrying a ‘Doko’, the traditional Nepalese wicker basket, which is filled with sand.
As if to make the test seem even more gruelling, they have to carry that load not just by straps to their back, but by a strap across their heads so that their necks are bearing much of the weight as they run.
To mark the Royal Logistic Corps’ Silver Jubilee year, teams of soldiers carried 25lbs of weight in traditional Doko baskets in a relay run, with each team covering about two miles in laps around a circuit in the Queen’s Avenue area, until the teams had collectively run 25 miles in total.
They completed the challenge in searing heat as Britain basked in record temperatures.
The idea for the Doko-style relay came from Captain Chris Swift who took part in the challenge alongside The Corps Sergeant Major Sean Owen and Corps Colonel, Colonel Colin Francis.
Captain Swift said: “It was good. The hardest part was slowing them down to keep them around the 20 minutes per lap,” adding:
“I could have gone faster.”
Corps Colonel, Colonel Francis added:
“Today’s been absolutely fantastic. This is the first of Regimental events that signifies the 25th Anniversary of the Royal Logistic Corps.”
The special Regimental events to mark 25 years of the Royal Logistic Corps will continue over the next 12 months.