NEWPORT NEWS Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) commanding officer completed the 113th Boston Marathon April 20 - and emphasized the importance of physical fitness.
Capt. Ted Carter completed the marathon in 3:46:41.
"The marathon provided me with a strong sense of confidence as I achieved a personal goal and gained inner strength," he said.
The 26.2-mile marathon was as emotional as physical, he explained, and he had the support of friends, family, ship's force and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding (NGSB) employees.
Carter also attributed inspiration from his late father who he considered a phenomenal athlete before developing heart issues in his early 50s.
"I value physical fitness, especially in the Navy, because it is important to keep your body sharp and combat ready, and that's what we're all about," said Carter. "It also can help train your overall life skills for after the Navy to maintain a sharp mind."
More than 24,000 participants started the event with about 22,000 completing the race.
"It was a little intimidating being surrounded by so many experienced runners. Realizing that I was going to finish while so many others dropped out gave me a huge sense of accomplishment," said Carter.
Carter qualified for the marathon when he competed in the 2008 Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, and trained by sticking to an exercise routine of light-weight workouts and running five miles for five days per week, then alternating one day with long distance runs.
The two marathons are the only ones under his belt so far, but he has plans to eventually compete in the New York Marathon and the original marathon course in Athens, Greece.
"Even if it's not running, I always encourage people to make it a part of their daily life to do something they enjoy," he said. "Whether it's hockey, basketball, swimming, or even aerobics, it doesn't have to take five hours, but do take some time."
The way to get on track, Carter explained, is to while balance social life and free time. Knowing where to run safely and preventing injuries are also key factors, he added.
"If you're not meeting your goals, build a plan, take steps and be patient," explained Carter. "All goals are achievable if you put your mind to it."
The 'Gold Eagle' is slated to be turned over to a new commanding officer in June after Carter delivers the aircraft carrier out of refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) to upgraded operational status.
Carl Vinson is completing its scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel has been replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and ready for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.