Australian Defence Force troops at the main operating base in the Middle East region scorched the competition in the United States’ ‘Army Ten-Miler Shadow Run’.

Australian runners took out the male first place, and the female first and second place positions in the ten-mile (16-kilometre) event run around the desert scenery of the base on October 5.

Male winner, Royal Australian Air Force imagery specialist Sergeant Kirk Peacock, said the warm and dry conditions made the event tough.

“I really wanted to challenge myself with a desert run while deployed,” Sergeant Peacock said.

“There was some talented runners among the other nations competing who pushed me all the way to the finish line.”

The winner of the female competition, Leading Aircraftwoman Sophia Costello, was surprised to do so well.

“I have never participated in anything quite like the shadow run before,” she said.

“It was a wonderful feeling running past the finish line first, I was on such a high afterwards.”

Run coordinator, US Army 1st Lieutenant Marcus Martinez, said this year the event had close to 120 coalition participants from the US, Australia, Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

“There were some happy faces all round as I watched everyone come across the finish line. I was very satisfied with the turn out and the motivation that everyone showed,” he said.

The ‘Army Ten-Miler’ is an annual event that is held at US military bases around the world and attracts more than 35,000 runners.

The main race is conducted in Washington DC and, this year, 17 satellite locations also participated in their own Shadow Runs.