Monday, November 2, 2015

Does A Tank Run In The Half Marathon?

In late September, on the same weekend we had Nuit Blanche, there was another event going on in the city, the Army Run, which featured distance running to benefit two military causes: Soldier On and the Military Families Fund. I took photos on both Saturday and Sunday. On the lawn in front of City Hall and the Cartier Square Drill Hall, a number of military vehicles were parked, with soldiers on hand to answer questions. This is the Husky, a mine detector with x-ray and metal detectors. Large as it is, the soldier explained its tire inflation can be lowered to reduce ground pressure, allowing the vehicle to pass over many anti-vehicle mines without setting them off. The entire thing is designed and armoured in a way to protect the driver.

Husky drivers work in tandem with the operators of this vehicle, the Buffalo, which is the vehicle used to investigate anything the Husky turns up as suspicious. It includes an extendable arm to expose whatever potential threat might be lurking beneath the soil. The two vehicles work with a third, the Cougar, which is used to remove mines and IEDs. These vehicles would have been used frequently in Afghanistan.

This is the LAV 6.0 (Light Armoured Vehicle), a personnel carrier capable of speeds of 100 kilometres an hour over roads. It has a crew of three and can carry seven passengers.

This view from Sunday is of Cartier Square. The armoury stands out beautifully on a clear day.

This Leopard tank was in front. It's used by several NATO countries, and takes a crew of four. Members of the public were allowed on top of it, as well as inside the four crew locations. I can say, having had sat at each station, that it is very cramped quarters. At full combat weight, this thing is over 57000 kilograms.

A group of bagpipers were playing in front of City Hall on Sunday.

Finishing off, these two views are taken both south and north on the Laurier Avenue Bridge over the Rideau Canal, taking in views of the runners, from each branch of the military, some having had come in quite a long way for the weekend. There were 5K and half marathon races being held.


  1. What a great day William. One I would have enjoyed toughly. The Leopard tank takes off like a scalded cat and is not as cramped as some ones in this Blog of mine

  2. 100km per hour is pretty fast for a tank!

  3. What a fabulous place to have a foot race. I'd love to participate.

  4. No matter how sturdy that thing is, I wouldn't want to drive over a mine in it. Amazing!

  5. That is some pretty impressive equipment.

  6. It's quite surprising to me how much goes on in Ottawa!

  7. Fun event. That Buffalo is some vehicle!

  8. Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing them.

  9. An impressive display of army vehicles William, I prefer the men in kilts :)

  10. @Bill: I'll check it out!

    @Halcyon: I certainly thought so.

    @Stuart: the Canal really makes for a good backdrop for running. When the city puts on the regular marathon during Race Weekend, it starts and ends here too.

    @Janey: one of the soldiers pointed out that the Husky had taken some damage while on deployment, but stood up to it.

    @Beth: it was fascinating to see these vehicles up close like this.

    @Gnome: they definitely are!

    @Sharon: I certainly thought so.

    @EG: a lot really does go on.

    @Pat: I found it very impressive.

    @Diane: you're welcome.

    @Grace: hah!

  11. Amazing the huge machines. Good to have land mine detectors---'War is Hell'

  12. impressive display of military vehicles.

  13. Wow, those military vehicles are huge!

  14. You have some fine shots and reporting of everything but I especially love that last image along the Rideau.

  15. Our armed forces can put on tremendous public displays. My son was in the reserved armed forces and did school presentations. I'm still steamed about Harper putting "Royal" back into the name. Nice shots and description of equipment.

  16. I am always curious about military vehicles...

  17. @MB: these things do come in handy.

    @Linda: I thought so.

    @Linda: they are!

    @Hilary: thank you!

    @Red: thanks!

    @VP: me too.

  18. I bet the bagpipers and drummer were a big hit.

  19. You keep doing some cool things in Ottawa! Those military vehicles were impressive but I'm not sure I'd take my chances on lowering the air pressure to avoid setting off landmines! Yikes!

  20. Those vehicles are quite formidable looking. I would have loved to hear and see all that going on. Great photos!

  21. It looks and sounds like a great day benefiting a couple of great groups. I've ridden on top of a couple of tanks and was thinking the same thing you did. It sure looks tight in there. Nice photos and narrative William.

  22. It looks like perfect weather for a run, William!

  23. Those vehicles look impenetrable!


  24. You had quite a military weekend William..

  25. @Revrunner: pipes can be popular and unpopular at the same time!

    @Lowell: the idea is that it spreads out the weight over a larger space and thus takes the pressure off. Same principle as snowshoes, but instead of sinking in snow, it's fooling a landmine.

    @Denise: it was educational to get so close to these vehicles.

    @Pat: I'm six feet tall, so I was really feeling cramped in there. Fascinating to be inside, though.

    @RedPat: it was great weather on the Sunday. When I stopped on the Saturday, it was the last hour before Nuit Blanche was starting, and there was rain at the time.

    @Janis: they certainly do.

    @Geoff: it was, at that.

  26. Tanks are incredibly huge and yet the inside so cramped. Fantastic shots.

  27. Those are pretty amazing vehicles. I haven't seen what the U.S. is currently using. I know when Bush & Company launched the Iraq war our armored vehicles were pitifully unprepared for land mines and IEDs. But then they also expected that the citizens would welcome our troops with open arms. Enough said.

  28. @Mari: cramped is true!

    @Kay: we've had to catch up over time too.

    @Linda: good pun!

    @Norma: I wouldn't mind one myself.

    @Carolann: thanks!