NORFOLK (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) hosted a five kilometer (5K) run on its' flight deck Feb. 4, as part of a shipwide celebration for Super Bowl XLI.
Plaques were awarded to the top three male and female participants, as well as awards for the youngest and oldest runners out of the 152 Sailors that participated, including Truman’s Commanding Officer Captain Herman A. Shelanksi and Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Clarence M. Frye.
The idea for the race originated during Truman’s previous sea trial in January when it was suggested by Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling 3rd Class Reggie M. Danz, a member of Truman’s Air Department and the ship’s running team.
Danz said he’d heard about a push-up and sit-up competition planned for the Super Bowl Party and thought a race on the ship’s flight deck would not only be fun, but also help fellow shipmates prepare for their upcoming physical readiness test.
“We just wanted to give people a chance to get up on the flight deck, maybe see some sunlight and have a good time,” said Danz.
The race was initially threatened by high winds and rain showers, creating a safety hazard. With the rain ceasing shortly before the race was scheduled to begin, Truman’s navigation department took care of the wind by skillfully steering the ship on an alternate course.
“The navigation team did a great job,” Shelanski said. “They saw to it we had just the perfect conditions for this race.”
With weather issues resolved, the participants were given the go-ahead and the race was underway.
After seven laps, 3.1 miles, 18:22, Danz crossed the finish line, taking first place in an event he had helped to devise less than a month earlier.
“Winning this race was good for the Air Department -- to get our names out there,” Danz said. “It gives us a little bit of bragging rights and it’s good motivation for the department.”
Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Jessica L. Owens, Truman’s reactor damage control leading petty officer, took first place among the female participants, crossing the finish line in 20:52.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Owens. “I wasn’t really out there to win. I was just out there to have a good time.”
Owens said events like the race help to give everyone, regardless of their rate or rank, a chance to get together and have fun.
The participants in the race received complimentary T-shirts featuring a design arranged by Lt. Tobijah T. Griffin and distributed by Truman’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation department.
Shelanski said he was hopeful Truman Sailors would see more races like Super Bowl Sunday’s event.
“It was a great time,” Shelanski said about the race. “I love running on the flight deck.”
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.