I wanted to post some pictures from the 2008 Boston Marathon that was held on the flight deck of the USS NIMITZ in April 2008 in the South Pacific. I had the opportunity to be the race director for the run and was aided immensely by the MWR team on the ship. The race was sponsored by BAA and was generously supported by them with tech shirts for all entrants, finishers medals and trophies for top finishers. The race started at 0600 with registration occurring at 0530. 26.22 miles were completed by all on the steel deck of an aircraft carrier. The Handler and his crew worked most of the night to arrange the aircraft on the flight deck so there was room to run around the edge of the flight deck to complete the marathon and some of the very slippery spots near the Cats were cleaned up. The race took 66 laps around the flight deck with a 5 hour time limit imposed on all. Only one water stop along the course at the Island, so there was a water stop every 0.5 miles. Runners had to be careful of the strong tail winds at the stern as not to be blown off the ship and into the Pacific 90 feet below. The race drew competitors from all departments on the ship and all ranks - from two star admiral to and E-1. The NIMITZ in my two years onboard compete in three marathons, four half marathons, and dozens of 10Ks and 5Ks.
Hope you enjoy the pictures. I will post more pictures if there is any interest. - Spencer.
This is so cool! What kind of a pace were you able to maintain? I would think it would have to be pretty slow just for safety. What does it feel like running on steel?
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The pace was around 8:00 so it was pretty slow for a typical marathon.
I ran on the flight deck almost every morning for two years onboard. You get accustomed to running on steel pretty fast. My route changed often and it was always interesting. I tried to always get up there right at dawn before the helo did their ground turns or they start the days cycle.
I included a pix of a group of us running that was used on the front cover of Navy Times.
Simply amazing. Thank you for the pictures. I did 6 years in the Army and not once did we have any organized races, only PT every morning. I suppose if you're stuck on a boat for months at a time you gotta figure out something to do.