Running goal keeps sailor motivated

This article has photo gallery Published on LSIS Ryan Tascas (author), POIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), Running

Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Scott Tunnard prepares to run on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra during Regional Presence Deployment 2020. (photo: POIS Tom Gibson)
Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Scott Tunnard prepares to run on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra during Regional Presence Deployment 2020.

Being deployed at sea during COVID-19 restrictions has seen one sailor set himself some unique fitness goals.

Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Scott Tunnard hasn’t let the pandemic restrictions nor a sea deployment control his physical fitness level.

While HMAS Canberra took part in the Regional Presence Deployment 2020, Leading Seaman Tunnard has set himself a personal goal to run the equivalent of the distance from Sydney to Flinders Street Station, Melbourne: 931 kilometres.

He said the driving force behind his extreme physical goal is to keep himself fit to play his favourite sports of ice hockey and Australian Rules Football.

COVID-19 restrictions have meant that it’s difficult for deployed ships to have traditional port visits, so the running goal has helped Leading Seaman Tunnard remain fit to fight and decompress from the working day.

“While I found myself stuck at home in Sydney due to the restrictions, I started running to remain fit,” he said.

“I was running further and further; I noticed progress and kept going.”

“I realised that the lack of port visits on this deployment would get very monotonous and I wanted something to focus on throughout the journey.”

Australian Army Private Billy Hancocks said he regularly noticed Leading Seaman Tunnard running on the flight deck and applauded the hard work.

“It’s good to see someone have structure in their training whilst being at sea,” Private Hancocks said.

“It’s definitely something I could see myself doing if I’m in this environment again.”

Leading Seaman Tunnard finds the hardest part of the challenge getting up early or staying up late to increase his running distance as he runs around his working hours.

He has definitely noticed an improvement in his fitness: thanks to months of training, he is now able to comfortably run a half marathon whenever his work schedule allows.

As Canberra sailed through the Philippine archipelago, Leading Seaman Tunnard endured a 3 hour and 50-minute run in the humidity to complete his first marathon (42 kilometres) on the flight deck, a feat he was very pleased by.

“It’s been great to challenge myself and meet this goal; I’m already thinking about my next endeavour,” Leading Seaman Tunnard said.

Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Scott Tunnard on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra during Regional Presence Deployment 2020.

Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Scott Tunnard on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra during Regional Presence Deployment 2020.