An Australian soldier from Tasmania smashed the sand dunes while deployed to the Middle East as he prepared for his first marathon.
Lance Corporal (LCPL) Timothy Trautwein, of the Force Support Element (FSE), is a Reservist normally based in Hobart with the 2nd Force Support Battalion as a recovery mechanic.
While deployed with FSE, based at Camp Baird, he is working as a driver responsible for transporting personnel and equipment in a variety of vehicles across the region.
FSE provides combat service support and in-theatre induction training for Australian Defence Force personnel in the Middle East region under Operation Accordion.
Approximately 400 Defence personnel are deployed on Operation Accordion, providing the command and sustainment functions to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Middle East region, including maritime security.
LCPL Trautwein said he took the opportunity to train for the local marathon in his spare time.
"While preparing for the desert race I ran eight to 37km a day, three days-a-week," he said.
"During the marathon I missed a negative split by just one minute, which means I went just a little bit faster in the first half of the event.
"My plan is to continue training, compete in more marathons around the world and hopefully join the Australian Defence Running and Athletic Association."
LCPL Trautwein completed his gruelling race in 3hr 52min.
In 2003 LCPL Trautwein joined the Army in search of a trade and after his training spent time with transport units in Puckapunyal and Moorebank.
He transferred to the Reserves in 2008 and deployed to Timor Leste on Operation Astute in 2009/10.
LCPL Trautwein said his current deployment to the Middle East was a good reminder Reservists were an important part of Army.
"It's also an excellent opportunity to catch up with old mates and make new friends as people pass through the area of operations," he said.
"The FSE team is a great group of people and our morale has shone through despite the long hours we work.
"We always try to have a good time and I am always joking around with the crew.
"I am known to be a bit of a larrikin."
When not working or boosting his fitness, LCPL Trautwein said he also studies Indonesian with the University of Tasmania.
"When I finish my tour I plan to visit Jakarta for nine weeks to improve my language skills," he said.
"As a civilian I normally work in security and crowd control at festivals, sporting events and the odd nightclub, but I am looking forward to returning home to enjoy a good coffee at my favourite café in Hobart, Boutique Espresso."