On August 31, HMAS Stirling entered a team into the Perth City to Surf - the largest community sporting event in Western Australia - for the third consecutive year. This year was the 40th anniversary of the event, with organisers encouraging people to run in ‘retro’ clothing.
Throughout the year, the Stirling Gym has been running lunchtime training sessions, focusing on strength, intervals, and hill work on Mondays, and tempo and distance training on Wednesdays. Individuals then undertook their own longer runs on the weekends, as required by their own training programs.
A new incentive, the training programs have proven popular said Stirling’s Commanding Officer, Captain Angela Bond.
“The organised training sessions have been excellent and provided some structure to peoples training, and also provided encouragement for people to come along and get involved,” Captain Bond said.
In another first this year, the Navy Running Association opened up sponsorship to all running distances, including the 4km distance. This initiative aimed to motivate Navy personnel to challenge themselves by running greater distances than the 2.4km minimum fitness test standard.
On the day of the main event, the Stirling team was the Defence and Emergency services team with the highest number of entrants, a testament to each of the runners and their commitment to take part and ‘run for fun’. Of the 54 runners in the team, seven entered the marathon, 15 ran the half-marathon, 23 took part in the 12km distance and 9 completed the 4km distance.
Captain Bond said the motivation shown by the west based sailors and officers was impressive; with each member not only staying fit in the lead up to summer, but also supporting individually chosen charities.
“Once again, it has been great to see a number of organisations support the Royal Australian Navy team in this event - Stirling Welfare Fund, RANCCF and the Navy Running Association. Each year, we’ve seen a real community feel at the marquee and lots of smiling faces, and it is only through the joint commitment of the individual runners, and the support organisations, that we can achieve so much,” Captain Bond said.
The event raises much needed funds for Activ, which raises funds to enable people with disability to pursue a better life. All of the Navy runners raised funds for this charity by paying their registration fees, and some also raised additional funds for their own personally chosen charities.
Stirling’s runners intend to continue with their regular training sessions and work towards providing a marquee again next year.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142571.