USS Benfold Sailors Raise Money for Charity with ‘100 Cable’ Half-Marathon
CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Sailors assigned to the guided missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) helped raise more than $2,100 dollars for local charities by holding their second annual nautically inspired “100 Cable” Half-Marathon at Rohr Park in Chula Vista, Calif., Nov. 1.
More than 100 Benfold Sailor with all levels of running experience supported the annual event which began last year while the ship was on deployment.
“We’re always thinking of ways to give back to the community because they give so much to us,” said Information System Technician 1st Class (SW) Ryan Collins, this year’s coordinator. “This half-marathon instills a sense of pride about the community in these Sailors that you just can’t get by traditional means of charity.”
The history of Benfold’s 100 Cable Half-Marathon began in 2012, while deployed to the Arabian Gulf, when a few determined Benfold Sailors decided that being at sea was no excuse to stop them from supporting their community back home.
Armed with only internet for communication, the Sailors took a grassroots approach on Benfold’s Facebook page to get the word out that they would be running a half marathon on the ship while underway. The crew raised more than $7,700 dollars that year with donations from friends and family members, as well as the crew, for San Diego area charities.
That deployment is also where the race’s namesake originated. Since a cable is a nautical unit of measurement equivalent to one-tenth of a nautical mile, or about the distance around the weather deck of an Arleigh Burke class destroyer, the number of laps needed to reach 31.1 miles would be approximately 100 cables or laps around the ship.
“The heat was atrocious that day,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class (SW) Tyler Hooper, who made the first run in 2012. “And running on steel decks for 12 miles wears you down but whenever I wanted to give up, I just thought of how a wounded vet would cherish this opportunity. That kept me going.”
The funds raised by the Benfold Sailors this year will be donated to various San Diego charities who are dedicated to helping veterans and their families, housing those in need and providing cancer treatment.
“These Sailors never cease to amaze me in how they unite for a better cause,” said Cmdr. Rich LeBron, Benfold’s commanding officer. “Our jobs are to keep communities safe, but it’s wonderful when we can make them stronger too.”
Benfold is currently undergoing a scheduled maintenance availability in its homeport of San Diego.