Spouses of USS Hartford Sailors to Participate in ING Hartford

More than 20 spouses and relatives of Sailors stationed aboard Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) are lacing up their running shoes and participating in the 19th annual ING Hartford, 5k, half and full marathon, Oct. 13.

The runners are taking the place of the USS Hartford Sailors who would have run in the annual event, but were unable due to their deployment schedule. Last year, 17 USS Hartford Sailors, who ranged in age from 20 to 42, participated in the half and full marathon.

Ali Fischer, who is married to Lt. Matthew Fischer, is one of the wives who helped to spearhead interest in running this year’s 5k, half and full marathon, and said many of the others had little to no experience in competitive racing.

“There are quite a few women who have never done any kind of run or race and are doing this for the first time,” said Fischer. “This race is getting people motivated.”

Cmdr. Steven Wilkinson, commanding officer, USS Hartford, said his crew are also motivated by their wives and relatives who were carrying on the Hartford tradition of running in the annual 5k, half and full marathon.

“The crew and I are very proud that our wives and other relatives chose to continue the tradition of the USS Hartford family participating in the Hartford marathon,” said Wilkinson.

Wilkinson added that although his crew was unable to participate in the marathon in person this year due to being forward deployed, a group of his Sailors are participating “in spirit” by combining to run the marathon on treadmills on race day.

“It will be a wonderful way to stay connected with our families and the city of Hartford, all while celebrating the Navy’s birthday and supporting the Navy’s ‘Culture of Fitness’,” said Wilkinson.

Nine Sailors from USS Hartford motivated the rest of the crew to participate in the “768 marathon” aboard the attack submarine by combining to bike, run and row the 768 miles.

“We currently have nine Sailors including the executive officer and myself who are running, biking and rowing 768 miles,” said Wilkinson. “We are on track to finish it prior to the return to homeport.”

Fischer added that the timing of the race was a perfect way to get a group of women together to represent the Sailors serving aboard USS Hartford and serve as a connection with their loved ones on deployment.

“When you undergo a deployment, you want to find ways to bond with the other women,” said Fischer. “So, we decided to pick up our running shoes and do it in their place.”

Not only are the wives and several relatives participating in the annual 5k, half and full marathon, but are honoring the Navy’s 237th birthday in a unique way, by supporting a good cause.

“We are raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project,” said Fischer who added that their group has raised more than $3,400. “I believe if you are going to do something like this, you should do something for others.”

Fischer added that many of the spouses, including herself, have been training diligently for the October marathon by taking advantage of the new track and field that opened last month on Naval Submarine Base New London.

“Many of the wives, including me, have been using the new Navy track on Naval Submarine Base New London,” said Fischer. “One of the women brought her children along while she trained. The opening of the track is perfect timing.”

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Naval Today Staff,October 15, 2012