Invitation to the Swedish Army Challenge 2021

13 Apr 2021

This year the Life Guards Regiment celebrates 500 years. In 1521, the Life Guards were organised to protect Sweden´s future king Gustav Vasa. The Life Guards have since protected the king and our capital Stockholm and it is one of the oldest military units in the world. The rise of Vasa as king of Sweden and his Life Guards is also associated with endurance as the key to mobilise in 1521 was a 90 km ski tour that later became known as Vasaloppet.


During the pandemic it is more important than ever to maintain physical fitness. The Swedish Defence Attaché Office would like to invite militaries and civilians in South Africa to a challenge during the week 10 - 16 May 2021.

“Cooperation and collaboration are key values of the Swedish Armed Forces. My team at the Embassy and I look forward to taking up the challenge in order to connect with counterparts in both South Africa and Sweden in this celebration of resilience, strength and togetherness.” Says Ambassador Håkan Juholt

The challenge is to walk, march*, run or ski any of the following distances during the week:

5 km, 10 km, 15 km, 21 km (Half Marathon), 30 km (Swedish Soldier´s Test, including 12 kg rucksack), 2x20 km (IML Walking standard), 42 km (Marathon), 90 km (Vasaloppet distance), 100 km in 24 hrs. (Belgian Death March), 160 km in 4 days (Nijmegen March military distance, including 10 kg rucksack excluding water), 200 km in 4 days (Nijmegen March civilian distance excluding rucksack).

*Marching includes rucksack and minimum 10 kg gear excluding water.


Terms & conditions

  • There is no fee and the challenge is open to anyone.
  • The challenge is virtual so one can complete it anywhere.
  • One can accumulate kms during the challenge week. For example, to complete the half marathon distance, one can walk, march or run 5+5+5+6 km during the week.
  • Participation is voluntary at your own risk and South African Covid19 regulations apply. If you march in a group – keep your distance.
  • Military uniform is allowed according to South African law and military practice.
  • Participants need to register name, title/rank and organisation (if applicable) to before 10 May 2021. You can decide distance during the week.
  • Completion is based on the honour system so no times or distances will be tracked. Upon completion, you email the distance and the time for walking, marching or running. Photos and stories are welcome.
  • All finishers will be awarded a diploma and a commemorative badge. The best finishers will receive awards at a Covid19 safe ceremony.
  • Please share your photos and videos with us on or tag us on all social media platforms @swedeninsa.


We look forward to your participation in the Swedish Army Challenge 2021 in the spirit of the Life Guards’ motto: Possunt nec posse videntur – They do what appears to be impossible.

Last updated 13 Apr 2021, 9.08 AM