TWO Wee County teenagers showed grit and determination when they took on a gruelling challenge in the Netherlands – walking 100 miles in four days.

Matthew Clark and Louise Johnstone, cadet warrant officers at the 383 Alloa Training Corps, took on the largest, multiple day marching event in the world.

Marking a first in the history of the Clacks squadron, they completed the Nijmegen Marches in the military category, walking at pace in uniform and carrying weight.

What makes it even more remarkable is that they were late to begin training in preparation for it, starting around nine months after people would typically embark on a programme.

They both expressed an interest in taking part in the event after a presentation during one of the 383 sessions, but knew they would have a lot of work in front of them.

Sergeant Chris Park made some enquiries and they then went on to complete a mandatory qualifying event, the Scottish Garelochead Marches (SGM).

This comprised of two days, covering 52 miles around Helensburgh.

Thanks to their performance, they were selected to join the South East Scotland Road Marching team.

Chris said: "It is arguably the most arduous event that a cadet can put themselves through.

"I think we were surprised that they were selected for the team, but absolutely overwhelmed at the success they have achieved at the first time of asking.

"They are an inspiration to all cadets, not just in Alloa because there are cadet associations in Stirling, Dunblane and Dunfermline, they are an inspiration to cadets from all across the Forth Valley area."

During the marches, which is a civil event with a military section, participants journey along the landscapes of the Gelderland, Brabant and Limburg provinces, and through the city of Nijmegen and its outskirts.

Around 47,431 were signed up to take part, with nearly 3,500 dropping out over the course of the four days.

The two cadets have earned their Nijmegen Road March Gold Badge, as part of the progressive training programme at the cadets.

The 383 Alloa Training Corps is open to all aged 12-20 and meets every Monday and Friday, 7-9.30pm. For more details search for 383 Alloa Squadron RAF Air Cadets on Facebook.

Clacks residents can also help support them by placing a blue token into their box in Tesco as part of the Bags of Help scheme, until the end of August.