The DANCON March is a tradition within the Royal Danish Army that dates back to 1972 when Danish troops were deployed to Cyprus. The march is designed to be a social gathering and to test the physical readiness of the troops participating
The Dancon March is a tradition for Danish Soldiers wherever they are stationed at the time. The march is approximately 16.62 miles long with terrain varying based on the area in which the march is held. All Soldiers are required to carry at least 22 pounds. The march invites foreign troops, allied with Denmark to participate in the march. Marches have taken place in Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Successfully completing the DANCON March nets participants a certificate of completion and the DANCON March Medal. While the primary intent of the march is a test of physical fitness, the majority of participants do so because of the social benefits of the event.
The last DANCON March took place in January 2013, Camp Viking on Camp Bastion 2, Afghanistan.
I participated in the DANCON March in the summer of 2007 while I was deployed to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, part of the KFOR8 Rotation. The event was very popular in Kosovo. We had participants from many different countries at the event. There were Polish, Greek, Danish, American, German, Canadian, French and many other countries involved. The course itself was 25.2 km (just over 15.6 miles) of hills, off road terrain, paved roads and mountains. At the time of the event, this is the longest ruck march I ever did.
Several peers of mine (from the G4 Section) participated in the event. It was fun and challenging. I personally finished the event in 4 hours and 27 minutes. I averaged about a 15 minute mile pace throughout the course. I did some running, some jogging and mostly walking. By the time I reached the finish line I was dehydrated, tired and sweaty. My feet were really soar and blistered. I changed socks twice during the race, but it didn’t help all that much. In fact, I didn’t walk right for the next three days.
For finishing the race, we received a nice certificate and medal (see photos). Unfortunately, US Soldiers are not authorized to wear the medal on their uniform. I’ve attached a photo of my medal and certificate so you can see what they look like.
All in all, the DANCON Road/Ruck March was everything I thought it would be: tough and fun. I would gladly do it again. It’s fun to challenge yourself physically and see what you are capable of.
If you’ve ever participated in the DANCON March I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment to this post to share your story.
If you have any questions about the Dancon March, you can post those here too. Thank you.