Soldiers from the Edmonton Garrison and Shilo base competed in the 13th annual Exercise Mountain Man Triathlon on Thursday.

The 300 competitors started the gruelling challenge at 5 a.m. at Hawrelak Park carrying a 15-kilogram rucksack over a two-part footrace of 31.6 kilometres and 5.6 kilometres. They then embarked on a 3.2-km canoe portage, and a final 10-km paddle down the North Saskatchewan River.

“It was a tough race,” said medic Greg Kelly. “I feel good, I got a sense of accomplishment.

“You get the bragging rights with a medal and your t-shirt.”

Kelly came in 78th place out of around 300.

“(I feel) very sore but relieved,” said medic Chris Harrop, who came in 105th.

He added he would not do it again, but did it to see if he could finish.

The first-place winner was Capt. Kurt Grimsrud, who finished the race in five hours, two minutes, and 13 seconds.