If being heads of department of a warship was not enough of a task, HMAS Newcastle's, Executive Officer and Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer have both been running their way around Australia as the ship circumnavigates the Australian coast line.
Lieutenant Commander Anita McCowen and Lieutenant Commander Damon Craig have been leading by example by maintaining healthy lifestyles whilst at sea and alongside.
Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander McCowen has been running for over a decade and was keen to participate in the Sydney City to Surf and the Sydney Running Marathon. However, due to the ship’s program she was unable to participate but this did not deter her from pursuing her goals.
Newcastle has conducted visits to Cairns, Darwin, Fleet Base West and Bunbury during her current deployment. Whilst alongside in Darwin in September, both Lieutenant Commanders McCowen and Craig ran in the Mitchell Street Mile as part of the Celebrate the Territory festivities.
When Newcastle’s program took the ship west, Lieutenant Commander McCowen took the opportunity to complete the Fremantle Half Marathon in early October. Achieving her goal with a time of 1 hour 52 minutes; subsequently beating her personal best by eight minutes despite the fact Newcastle had just completed a busy Unit Readiness and Mission Readiness work-up period.
“The lead up to the event was tough. Finding the time to train was difficult and required strong management skills but it was worth the effort," she said.
Lieutenant Commander Craig participated in the 5km run.
Upon the news that Newcastle would be visiting Bunbury, in Western Australia, the stalwarts again took the opportunity to participate in a 'run ahore' for a 10km fun run..
Lieutenant Commander McCowen trained at sea around the flight deck and forecastle throughout Newcastle’s busy schedule, in order to maintain her form for the events.
Lieutenant Commander Craig said he was not normally a runner, but before Newcastle left on her deployment he made a commitment to be as active as possible. He increased his fitness level by attending physical training sessions with ship’s company on a regular basis.
Regardless of the busy schedule on Newcastle, both have demonstrated that a healthy lifestyle can be maintained at sea and fun can be had, competing ashore.