Story by Seaman Andrew J. Lett

PACIFIC OCEAN – More than 100 Sailors participated in a 5K ‘Turkey Trot’ to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend on the flight deck of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Nov. 27.

James Howard, John C. Stennis’ fitness director, worked to make the Sunday after Thanksgiving fun for the Sailors while they are away from their families.

“The ‘Turkey Trot’ was something we wanted to do to put the Sailor’s minds at ease while they are underway during the holidays,” said Howard. “How many people can say they ran a 5k on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier?”

Despite an initial wind delay, the run was a successful event that many said they would like to do again. Sailors started near the superstructure and ran 10 laps around the forward portion of the flight deck.

“It was kind of a spontaneous thing for me,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Tiffany Shouder, from Orlando, Florida. “For me, to come out and finish the [run] is something I’m proud of.”

After running off their Thanksgiving feast calories, the participants received a T-shirt to commemorate the event.

“It’s always good to get outside the ship, even if it’s just for a couple hours,” said Howard. “It’s important to stay fit and it’s my job to find fun ways for Sailors to work on their fitness.”

Howard is looking forward to putting on more events for Sailors in the near future.

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