A New Tradition Begins

By Mass Communications Specialist First Class (SW/AW) Chris Thien, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs

Members of the run stop during a runner turn over and pose with the Seabee flag (from left to right)Lt. Benjamin Waite, Lt. Kim Caudle and Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Stoddard. Photo by Lt. Karen McAllister, Intern Architect Public Works Department Annapolis.

Lt. Benjamin C. Waite, construction manager of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Public Works Division Annapolis, used one of his greatest strengths to raise nearly $400 dollars for the Washington, D.C. Seabee Ball by running 37 miles.

Waite started his run at the Admiral Ben Moreell Monument located at the United States Naval Academy and finished at the Seabee Memorial located at the front gates of Arlington National Cemetery. From 7 a.m. on Dec. 7 2012, he was on the run and joined at different points by fellow officers for different stretches. “I saw this as an opportunity for people to get sponsored either as a flat donation for participating or on a per mile donation,” he said.

Waite, a distance runner, actually trained for this event with the Naval Academy Marathon Team. “I am the officer representative for the team so I train and race with them. Three weeks before this I ran a 50-miler,” Waite said. Waite and his team accepted both donations per mile and flat donations for Waite himself to run the whole way, which made his decision to complete another long race so soon after his last one an easy one. “Once I hit mile 31, I was sore, but I knew I could and would finish the entire run.”

Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Stoddard a NAVFAC Headquarters Public Works division officer, joined Waite at the 13-mile mark of the run. Although he was sponsored $50 for running six miles, he kept up with his partner for nine. “Waite motivated the rest of us by just being there the entire way and organizing the logistics,” Stoddard said.

The idea for the run originated during the NAVFAC command physical fitness assessment held in October and Waite decided to begin this December and keep the run as close as possible to Pearl Harbor Day. “Obviously December 7th holds a very deep meaning for the Seabees and our country,” he said. “The funds we raised will hopefully keep ticket prices low for the junior Seabees who need it the most.”

“I hope this event continues in the future and look forward to next year. I also hope this sparks relays and other creative fund raising events considering all the athletes we have in the Civil Engineering Corps.” Stoddard said. At the 35-mile marker Stoddard and the rest of team met Waite to finish out the run together. The total combined distance covered by the six participants equaled 74 miles, with half of it coming from Waite himself.


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