By Garland Davis
I started running in 1976. I wasn’t interested in races or fast times at the beginning. The most running I had done before then was around the bases of a baseball diamond. The Navy had decided that I should, at thirty-two years of age, run a mile and a half in thirteen minutes. I barely made it. Thought I was going to die.
I thought that if I ran each day the annual PT test would be easier. From my house in the Catlin Park Navy housing across from the Honolulu Airport around the Navy Marine Golf Course through Officer Housing and back to my house was three miles. For most of three years I ran it at least once a day. For a couple of months when I was shanghaied to operate the Flag Mess for Third Fleet on Ford Island, I ran about the same distance around the island.
Didn’t have any further problems with running the annual PT.
In early 1977, I decided to attempt the Honolulu Marathon in December. I upped my distance to ten miles a day. I subscribed to the theory that if you could run ten miles every day then you should be able to run twenty-six miles one day.
I finished the ’77 Marathon in three hours fifty-nine minutes. I did ’78 in four hours and twelve minutes.
In ’79 I was transferred to an FF out of Yokosuka. Inport I ran around the housing area. At sea I ran around the Mack or around the flight deck. In’81 when I went to Midway there were few opportunities to run. The flight deck was used for aircraft and the hangar deck was congested. I sometimes worked out with the Marine Detachment, but, I am here to tell you, those dudes are Gung Ho! In ’84 on to another FF and back to running around the Mack. Later running on the Cruiser was much easier, eight times around the deck was a mile.
In ’87 back to Pearl Harbor and a twilight tour, I went back to running three to five miles a day. There is an annual eight-mile event, the Great Aloha run. I did it for sixteen years. Before the H-3 freeway was opened there was a run there. I don’t remember how far it was but a group of us did it hungover. A memorable run. Navy MWR conducts a run across the Ford Island Bridge, around the island and back across the bridge. About six miles. I ran that the first seven years.
BTW, the last time I ran PT, at age forty-six, I finished in twelve minutes.
’89 High Year Tenure caught up with me and I retired from the Navy and went to work for a living. I ran sporadically but stayed in condition to do the Aloha and Bridge runs. I ran a couple half marathons during those years after retirement.
I walked a half mile this morning in twenty-five minutes. Someday I expect I’ll try it with a walker, but I’ll hold that off if possible. A walker has never been on my bucket list. But then, neither was this fucking cane.