Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers
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Teamwork gives results in the Military Competition

"I have tried many sports – this one is the most brutal by far!" Corporal Tim Ilsemann is a member of the German squad and competes as an athlete with eleven other German comrades in 4 teams at the annual CIOR competition. Attentively he watches his teammate’s performances at the obstacle course from the side-line. In the last few meters, the German comrades once again cheer to support their exhausted teammates. Considering the performances of previous years, the German team can hope for an overall lead. The teammates shout encouragingly “stay on it”, “do it”, ”give everything” and lead their team to a time of "3:04".

Excellent Performance

Tense silence, however, at the start of the Brits as they are holding the current overall lead having completed an excellent performance in the yesterday's shooting discipline. Each movement is carefully studied and discussed. Prior to the first corner a relieving "42" is whispered - a respectable time but not enough, which shows hope that the Germans might hold their record time. As one of the British runners trips, the German team is concerned. However after a brief moment of shock he continues his run, and the German team can continue to hope that the British will remain a tad slower. At the end it turns out that the German best time was not undercut by the English, and a quick calculating German throws his hands in the air and yells: "This is the overall lead!" Only in the penultimate round the best time of "2:52" is topped - by another German team.

Team Work

This year's 103 competitors are divided into 35 teams and different experience levels: Newcomers are directed into the “novice” category, the competitors who have already taken part in a previous CIOR competition are placed in the "experienced" category and the final group “veteran” is made of participants who have competed 4 times previously.

The teams from the other nations now hope to regain the overall leadership, which the Germans currently hold, in the disciplines that are held over the next two days of the competition. In the afternoon the competition continues from the obstacle course to the swimming pool. However anyone who expects more Olympic straightforwardness will be surprised. Unlike the competition in London not only different distances, but numerous obstacles need to be overcome in the water and instead of ergonomic bathing suits uniform is worn throughout – of all the Danish winter uniform.

Three-day Competition

At the end of the three-day competition, a 15 km-long orientation run is demanding and rewarding at the same time: The site of the Royal Life Guards in Birkerod is the former hunting ground of the Danish royal family. The running track passes through dense forests, large lakes and even wetlands. The German team is not worried about the wetlands. "They do not represent any danger to the competitors as the human body has enough buoyancy to hinder it from sinking. However, valuable time can be lost," the German team leader Captain Falk Grundschok explains. Finding the right way leading out of the swamp and to the 15-25 posts is the task of the "Orienteer", who, equipped with a compass and map, sets the direction. His teammates feed him during the run with information on distances travelled, prominent terrain points, the course of vegetation boundaries and help him find these items.

Photos: Henry Plimack (USA)

© 2012 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers