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    Sailors and Marines Run Across New York City

    By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lyle Wilkie
    ARABIAN GULF (NNS) – Aboard U.S. Navy ships, gyms are provided to keep the crew physically ready and in shape. One Sailor aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York created a competition to challenge his shipmates to stay healthy while simultaneously honoring the ship’s namesake.

    New York’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) team was looking for ways to keep the Sailors’ and Marines’ physical activity up, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Darren David came up with the idea to run the equivalent length of the furthest points of New York City and made it a friendly competition called “Race Across New York.”

    “I wanted to come up with a challenge that people could work towards and be proud of completing,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Darren David, creator of the Race Across New York. “I also wanted to add an element of competition, whether it's competing with a friend or competing with yourself.”

    This idea blossomed into a race equal to the distance from one side of New York City to the other, which is a total of 283 miles across multiple exercise sessions, with the top three participants aboard receiving prizes from MWR. Anyone else who finished the race would get their name on a plaque to be hung up aboard New York.

    “The goal of Race Across New York is to get Sailors and Marines out there running or biking for a goal,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Shelby Eby, MWR president. “283 miles is a great goal on its own, so why not get recognized for it.”

    The first three to finish the race were Cpl. Patrick Nelson and Lance Cpl. Forrest Kimmel, both assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and Culinary Specialist Seaman Mark Monge, assigned to New York.

    “Race Across New York was challenging and as a long distance runner, I loved it,” said Monge. “It's my first time to compete in the military world against Sailors and Marines, so this event will never be forgotten.”

    Even though the top prizes have already been claimed, that hasn’t deterred Sailors and Marines from continuing to try to meet the goal.

    “It's an ongoing competition that motivates me to make time to run,” said Lt j.g. Alexandria Laureys, Race Across New York competitor. “I enjoy the physicality of it and the combination of competition and camaraderie it breeds. People who might not normally speak to each other go out of their way to ask how your running is going. It's a nice change of pace from the everyday deployment life.”

    Race Across New York has helped Sailors and Marines continue moving toward their goals even though they are underway.

    “My goal was just to finish the challenge by running only, and I nailed it” said Monge. “I ran the entire 283 miles and finished in third place. I am the only one so far to run the entire distance. I’m planning to run full marathons again after deployment. Race Across New York was a good kick off and comeback in my marathon life and training.”

    After seeing the success of the competition aboard New York, David would like to set up a biking challenge for the crew.

    “In the near future, I want to set up an event that would combine athleticism and camaraderie to honor the heroes of 9/11,” said David. “New York Fire Department does an annual century ride to pay tribute to the 343 firefighters lost on 9/11. I want to have participants complete a similar challenge on stationary bikes this September.”

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    Date Taken: 04.08.2020
    Date Posted: 04.17.2020 16:43
    Story ID: 367738
    Location: ARABIAN GULF

    Web Views: 56
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