After much careful thought, deliberation, and discussion, we have made the tough decision to suspend PARAS’10 Colchester indefinitely.
PARAS’10 was originally founded by WO1 JJ Wilson in 1982 and was hosted by The Parachute Regiment in Aldershot until 1993, when the regiment left. It was revived by Maj Sam McGrath in 2008 in Catterick, and, due to its huge success, was brought to the new home of The Parachute Regiment, Colchester, in 2012. Over the last 12 years, we have been incredibly fortunate to have had the support of our serving paratroopers for each Colchester event. These are soldiers who are often away on exercise until days before a race; filling in and submitting paperwork on our behalf whilst in foreign countries and also doing their day job; and who are frequently also being held at very high readiness to be deployed around the world should something happen.
This year, something did happen, and our soldiers were taken away from Colchester to perform their jobs in a humanitarian role overseas for the second time in three years. Our race, quite rightly, became a low priority and had to be cancelled; our focus then shifted to supporting those deployed soldiers and their families and to being there for them should they need us.
We have been lucky that our races have in the past managed to work around operational commitments, but in recent years, The Parachute Regiment’s operational tempo and level of commitment has been steadily increasing and will continue to do so in the future. This jeopardises both the level of support we can rely on, and therefore the quality and standard of the event that you, our loyal supporters, have come to know and expect.
It may also come as a surprise to many that the MOD charge us just as they would any other company for the land that we run across, the soldiers that we use, and any equipment that enables these events. As a military charity, we used to receive a discount on these costs, but this is no longer the case, and our costs are increasing year on year; it is now becoming very difficult for this race to remain sustainable and financially viable.
All is not lost though – whilst PARAS’10 Colchester as you know it will be no more, we are working very hard on a new, exciting, and different fitness challenge that can take its place. Full details, including the name reveal, will be shared with you very soon.
Thank you for supporting and enjoying our Colchester race with us for so long. Without the PARAS’10 family, we could not have continued it for as long as we did. Thank you and Utrinque Paratus.
The PARAS’10 Team