SAN DIEGO - Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) ran laps on the flight deck May 18, for the crew's 2nd annual participation in the Cellcom Green Bay 5K, as the same race took place more than 2,000 miles away from ship's namesake city of Green Bay, Wisc.
The crew ran the race a day before the city, as runners in Green Bay took to the streets May 19.
"It is an honor to once again participate in the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon weekend by running a joint 5K with the City of Green Bay," said Ensign Tim Mahoney from Green Bay, who organized the event in 2011 and 2012. "Last year on our maiden deployment, we had tremendous involvement from our Sailors and Marines. This year we are running the 5K in our homeport of San Diego, Calif., and it will give our Sailors and Marines a well-deserved break as we continue preparations for our next deployment."
"The USS Green Bay 5K is our way of honoring the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces who put their lives on the line every day," said Sean Ryan, race director of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. "It's a small gesture for the work that they do every day to protect our freedom."
Some runners feel participating in joint events with the ship's namesake gives the crew a kindred bond with the city most crews don't get.
"I have never been to Green Bay, but one thing that always stands out when talking about the people of Green Bay is their spirit," Cmdr. Putnam Browne, Green Bay commanding officer said. "I hope with events like this, we can further connect with the city to enhance our spirit and esprit de corps."
There was limited room on the flight deck so runners were divided into three separate heats. The runners listened to a message from the Mayor of Green Bay prior to each race.
"All of us here in the Green Bay community appreciate what you do aboard USS Green Bay," Mayor Jim Schmitt said. We wish you well in your 5K we'll do our best here in Green Bay for our 5K run. Thanks again for what you're doing. God bless you, and go Green Bay!"