U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY – The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) kicked off its version of the “Ultimate Loser Challenge,” March 3.
The nearly three-month Ultimate Loser Challenge consists of a variety of physical fitness exercise courses sponsored in part by Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. “The Ultimate Loser competition promotes physical fitness, a healthy lifestyle and a better physical image,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Benjamin Callen, Peleliu’s First Class Petty Officers Association president.
The contest began with a week-long “I just felt like running” challenge, with participants logging miles by running on the treadmills in the ship’s gym. “The idea is to see how far we as a ship can make it on [a] Forrest Gump’s trek across America,” said Lucas Eckstein, Peleliu’s fun boss. “The purpose is simply to get people to run.”
The ship’s runners totaled 73 miles in the first challenge, resulting roughly the same distance from San Diego north to Irvine, Calif.
“There are a lot of competitive people on the ship and when you challenge them to do something they take it to heart,” said Eckstein.
Upcoming schedules events for Peleliu’s Ultimate Loser Challenge lists a 5km run, a mock physical readiness test, 3-on-3 basketball tournament and the “Tour de Liu” bike challenge. Each event, worth two points, adds toward an individual’s total.
The Ultimate Loser Challenge’s top contender nets $3,000 worth of travel vouchers presented by MWR. Other prizes may include an Ipad® mini, Oakleys® sunglasses, sport watches, and t-shirts.
Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.