RCAF traffic tech perseveres through injury to carry Logistics Branch 50th Anniversary Flag

A standing man holds a large flag with a lake and beach in the background.
Corporal Kane Edmonstone, an RCAF traffic technician from Wainwright, Alberta, pauses at Grande Cache Lake during Alberta's annual “Death Race” for a photo with the Logistics Branch 50th Anniversary Flag that he carried during the race. PHOTO: Submitted

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By Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Martin

A Royal Canadian Air Force traffic technician, based in Wainwright, Alberta, was injured during the during the physically demanding and aptly named “Canadian Death Race” in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains on August, 4, 2018. But Corporal Kane Edmonstone refused to quit because he was carrying a truly valued possession of the Logistics Branch: the 50th Anniversary Flag and Pennant.

Corporal Edmonstone of Wainwright’s Logistics Support Company was running a treacherous 19-kilometre stretch of the annual Death Race when he encountered an unforgiving wet patch of mud.

“It was about five Ks into the race when I fell; basically the ground went out from under me,” says Corporal Edmonstone. “I didn’t even feel anything when I hit the barbed wire, I guess that was because of adrenaline. About 500 metres later I felt what I thought was water dripping down my arm. I looked and saw my blood.

“I was half determined and half stubborn that I was going to handoff our flag to the next person.”

In fact, Corporal Edmonstone, in a display of grit and determination, ran another 14 kilometres, stopping once at Grand Cache Lake for a photo of himself with the Flag.

At the end of his portion of the race, Corporal Edmonstone was treated by Death Race medics and then transported to a medical centre in Grande Cache, Alberta, for treatment. He required five stitches to close the cut just on his forearm just below his elbow.

“Corporal Edmonstone’s valiant display of perseverance, fortitude and overwhelming personal will to succeed while carrying the Log 50th Flag and Pennant, is an inspiration to all logisticians,” says Chief Warrant Officer Paul Flowers, the National Lead of the Flag Relay and also a member of the RCAF. “His never-give-up attitude demonstrates a key quality required in today’s non-commissioned member corps. In my opinion, his strong loyalties to the Logistics Branch and especially the Log 50th Flag Relay provides an admirable example for his peers to emulate.”

The 50th Anniversary Flag Relay began in Ottawa on Canada Day 2017. It has since visited CAF Logisticians in 11 countries and has traveled a distance one and a half times the circumference of the Earth at the Equator. The Flag will continue across Canada culminating with a special parade on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in October.

The Canadian Death Race is a 125-kilometre foot race through the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Grande Cache, Alberta. It includes three mountain summits, one major river crossing, and 17,000 feet of elevation change. The race has been held annually on the August long weekend since the year 2000. (Wikipedia)


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Image gallery

  • A man holds a large flag, with a lake and beach behind him.
  • A man lies on a hospital gurney with a bandage over the inside of his right elbow.
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