USS Hartford Sailors Participate in Hartford Marathon
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Seventeen Sailors from Los Angeles fast-attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) are lacing up their running shoes and hitting the pavement for the 18th annual ING Hartford half and full marathon, Oct. 15.
Sailors who range in ages from 20 to 42 and include a cross-section of ranks from a petty officer third class to the executive officer have collectively set a goal for every Sailor to complete either the half or full marathon.
"By participating in Hartford marathon this weekend, we want to establish the tradition for our crew and future crew members to continue running future Hartford marathons, when possible," said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Gilmore, executive officer, USS Hartford.
Other Sailors competing in this weekend's half and full marathon are not necessarily looking down the road at participating in future races, but rather are focused on mastering this milestone.
"My goal is just to finish and to say I did it," said Chief of the Boat Senior Chief Machinist's Mate (SS) Eric Mathley.
Sailors have collectively trained for the marathon for two months and will join an estimated 12,000 runners in this weekend's race. Many of the Sailors' spouses and Hartford's ombudsman will also participate.
Three of the 17 Sailors participating in the marathon have completed prior races. One Sailor in particular motivated and encouraged his fellow submariners to participate in a race with origins 2,500 years ago.
"When I reported aboard USS Hartford and realized we would be in port for the marathon it seemed like a natural thing to participate in," said Chief Sonar Technician (Submarines) (SS) David Martinez. "I'm glad that others decided to do the race with me, many of them have only run a 5k before."
As a source of inspiration for Sailors participating in the marathon, Tom Danielson, the 9th place finisher, and top American, in the 2011 Tour de France, met with the crew when he visited USS Hartford, Oct. 13.
"It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and obviously with your job, running is really a part-time job. I have a lot of respect for what you do," said Danielson. "We are really excited to be here because this is the first time I've visited a submarine since my childhood sub tour with my dad."
During their visit aboard Hartford, Danielson offered advice to the runners.
"Try and eat every 30 minutes because during endurance races athletes can burn up to 800 calories an hour," said Danielson. He also advised that they stay hydrated during the race.
Danielson, a native of East Lyme, is hosting a charity bike ride in his hometown on the same day of the marathon.