USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) competed in an Iron Man competition in the ship's hanger bay July 30.
More than 30 contestants competed for the fastest time in a combination of running, bicycling, push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups.
Male contestants were required to run five miles, bike 10 miles and complete 50 pull-ups, 200 sit-ups and 200 push-ups. Female contestants ran five miles, biked 10 miles and completed five pull-ups, 50 push-ups and 150 sit-ups.
The concept for the competition came from a suggestion that was e-mailed to Nathan Owen, Truman's fitness department head. Owen was impressed with the idea and began planning for the competition. After several weeks at sea, the contest was a welcome way to break up the monotony of deployment.
"It was all possible because of the workout facilities and materials we have on the ship," said Owen. "I think it is great to see all the places they have managed to get work-out equipment on the ship, and it's amazing how long it can last here. The facilities and equipment we have allows me to provide the best possible events for our crew members to compete in."
While working out is a popular way to relieve stress and stay in shape for Truman's crew, the Iron Man competition provided an opportunity for Sailors to break out of their normal routine and try something different.
"This event gave the participants a goal to reach. They trained for more than two weeks to get ready," said Owen. "It was a way to do something besides the normal lifting or running. It is an endurance race for the muscles. When you do the same work out every day, it can become mundane. Getting ready for this event and participating gave them a chance to spice up their routine."
Although the Iron Man competition was a chance for service members to test their strength and endurance against their peers, good sportsmanship helped foster a team atmosphere among the competitors.
While waiting on her chance to join the competition, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Heather Martinez, assigned to V-0 Division, served as an impromptu coach for three of her female shipmates whose time she would later have to compete against. She shouted cheers of encouragement as they fought fatigue.
"I'm just a very competitive person," said Martinez, who finished second in the women's division. "I like any competition that has to do with physical activity."
Some participants joined for a chance to win, but many signed up for a chance to prove something to themselves.
"I did it for self satisfaction and to prove to myself that I could do it," said Aviation Electrician's Mate Airman Thomas Bouk, assigned to the Seahawks of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126. "I have always been into athletics, so I was interested as soon as I heard about it."
"It was a great opportunity to push myself. I really wanted to see if I could do it," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Thomas Vaningen, assigned to Dental department. "Once I started, my main goal was just to make it through the run. After that, it was just going through the motions to finish. It was an awesome feeling to finish the competition."
The top three winners in each division were awarded a plaque for their efforts, and everyone who finished all five events received an Iron Man wristwatch.
The top three for the men's division were: Navy Diver 1st Class (DSW/PJ) Alek Isokangas, Navy Diver Seaman (PJ) Dhayer August and Airman Cullan Strong.
In the women's division, the top three were: Lt. Allison Went, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Heather Martinez and Truman Fun Boss Meghan Dromberger.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.