Princess Passenger Runs First Marathon At Sea

Steve Eaton runs 26.2 miles aboard the Grand Princess By: Mindy Poder
Steve Eaton relaxes after his 26.2-mile run around the Grand Princess deck. // © 2011 Princess Cruises
Steve Eaton relaxes after his 26.2-mile run around the Grand Princess deck. // © 2011 Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises passenger Steve Eaton completed the world’s first-ever marathon at sea aboard the Grand Princess with a time of 5 hours, 16 minutes and 45 seconds.

Eaton, 57, who is from Tamworth, U.K., has run 33 marathons in the past, but this was his first marathon aboard a cruise ship. The race was inspired by Eaton’s family friend, staff sergeant Christopher Chacksfield, who was murdered in June 2010 in Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. Chacksfield had expressed a desire to raise funds for Help for Heroes, a charity that provides support to those wounded, sick or injured in the line of duty since 9/11. As an avid runner, Eaton chose a marathon and asked Princess for help in an effort to run the first-ever marathon at sea.

“Everyone at Princess Cruises is very proud that Grand Princess could host the first marathon at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.  “Our passengers and crew were really behind Steve’s attempt, and it was wonderful that so many of them came out on deck to cheer him on. Help for Heroes does fantastic work and we hope that Steve’s efforts have raised lots of money for this worthwhile charity.”

Eaton began his marathon on a course of just over .37 miles around the Promenade Deck of Grand Princess, while the ship was sailing near the coast of Portugal. He had to run 70 laps to cover the total distance of 26.2 miles.

“This has probably been my hardest marathon to date, but it was for a very special cause. I’m grateful for all the support of the passengers and crew onboard to keep me going,” said Eaton. “Tonight, I’ll have a big steak, for the protein to help my body recover, and a glass of wine to celebrate together with my wife, Margaret.”
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