USNA Out at the Annapolis 10 Miler

Photo Above: USNA Out members
Heather Davies ’93, Joe Soto ’83
and Lindsay Hawkins ’00 before the
Annapolis 10 mile race

Runners and cheerleaders spent a weekend in Annapolis USNA Out style! The race course is challenging but not impossible. (Don’t let the hills spook you!) The race was one of the best organized and well-supported races in which I have participated. My admiration to the other runners, Joe, Heather and Lindsay who trained during a steamy hot summer. Thanks to Paula and Mel who put together the best tailgater complete with decorations. And thanks to Jeff and Trey who woke up early on a Sunday and unleashed their inner cheerleader.

Seeing the Yard through the eyes of others from USNA Out is incredibly enlightening and inspiring. I arrived back home with warm, wonderful memories and a stomach ache from all of the gut-busting laughter. I hope you all can join us one way or another next year. Here’s a re-cap from the other USNA Out, Annapolis 10 Miler Finishers in their own words.

With Love and Respect,

Joe Soto '83
Joe Soto ’83

From Joe “Turbo” Soto ’83

The training was intense, hot, and a little physically and mentally difficult as I was trying to work through injuries, but this was one ten-miler that I was passionate about completing. Then the uniforms arrived. WOW – what a motivator, bright white high-end running tee with USNA Out and our new logo that you could see/read from 50 paces! And the running shorts with our class year, what a nice touch.

I picked up Heather at BWI, and that made the last 25 miles to Annapolis very enjoyable. When did they build I-97? It used to take forever to get to Annapolis, we did the drive in about 25 minutes! Heather and I had the opportunity to walk through the yard. I’m so glad we did – the memories came rushing back, the brigade had just returned from their summer (yes the brigade was back!). We had a really nice walk through town and a terrific seafood dinner on West Street.

The Breakfast at Chick and Ruth’s was again, a trip down memory lane – long line to get in, but terrific food, and nothing seemed to change! The Soccer game on Saturday was another highlight of the weekend…GO Miss Calderon!! What a blast. We took turns playing Mary (F-ing) Poppins holding the umbrella (Parisol) because the sun was so intense, but somehow, I didn’t get to play Mary Poppins. We also reminded ourselves that everyone is somebody’s plebe! And the little voice inside me is a nagging B—-! Also, our “turn down the flame” signal was invented…ssssst. It was great having our midshipman join us. Our pasta (carb-load) dinner definitely rounded out a perfect day. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s company, and it was a definite highlight having the mids present.

OK, race day – a little nervous, I took 800 mg of ibuprofen to get through what I anticipated would be pain at mile 6 or so, had my banana, and a couple of energy shot blocks to prepare for the run. The weather was amazing, a little hot, but not too much, and very sunny. We all looked amazing in our uniforms and definitely get the best-dressed award! The run was really fun. I tried to savor the views of running down main street, downtown Annapolis heading towards the dock, and then running alongside the academy, and over the severn-river bridge. The hills were tough, but the downhills helped. The view coming over the bridge at mile 8-9, really helped drive me to the finish. And how pleasantly surprised to have our support team cheer us on throughout! What an AMAZING tailgate party we had. Jeff, Paula and her partner, and Trey really outdid themselves. We had mimosa’s, bagels, muffins, doughnuts, beer, etc…complete with seating (greatly needed) and sparkly little table decorations. To top things off, the Annapolis Inn, with Joe and Alex as our host for a brunch fritata and cocktails – what a nice way to end our visit to Annapolis…What a great DAY and AWESOME USNA Out weekend! Next year – let’s have more runners!!


USNA Out member
Heather Davies ’93 in the
Annapolis 10 mile race

From Heather “Our All-American, Mega-Striper, Rocket Scientist, Who Successfully Uses Both Sides of Her Brain” Davies ’93

“From the moment I decided to e-mail Barb back at the beginning of June to say “Count me in!” for the run, preparing for and completing the Annapolis 10-Miler as part of USNA Out has been a journey of healing and reclamation. I made the decision to return to Annapolis under this premise over attending my 15-year reunion this month (September) and, in hindsight, I couldn’t have made a better choice.

I left Annapolis in 1993 filled with anger, bitterness, and a desire to get as far away as I could and never return. I came back for my 10-year reunion literally on the heels of Hurricane Isabel, a disaster that magnified the angst and awkwardness of my return to the Academy, and left me feeling confused and ambivalent about my history as a midshipman and a Naval Officer and frustrated about how to integrate my queer and veteran identities in a way that felt generative.

After five years of pondering this dilemma, this past weekend proved to me that such integration is possible. Indeed, the making of new memories with a group of alumni who were, technically, strangers but who felt like long lost friends that I had known all my life, actually erased many of the painful memories from the past (just like Jeff suggested might happen). The powerful gifts of witnessing, support, and sharing that were so freely offered by Barb, Lindsay, Joe, Jeff, Trey, and Paula melted that which had been frozen in time and restored to me a sense of joy and pride in being exactly who I am – an alumni of USNA, a veteran, and a queer-identified person. I am so proud and grateful to have found USNA Out, to have run alongside such amazing folks, and to continue to work side by side with you all towards the lifting of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the recognition of USNA Out by the Naval Academy Alumni Association.”


USNA Out members Lindsay
Hawkins ’00 and Joe Soto ’83
after the race

And from Lindsay Corps “Don’t F***ing Call Me Mary Poppins” Hawkins ’00, the English Major

The first mishap of the weekend was when Barb forgot to pack her running shoes. We had to drive back a few miles and wait for Kap to deliver them. Barb’s luck changed for the better when we got to the hotel. She beat Heather in a game of paper, rock, scissors (best of three) to see who would get to sleep with me.

On Saturday, we met up with Joe at Chick & Ruth’s for breakfast. The place was the same as always. Everything from the menu to the employees seemed unchanged kind of like that Pearl Jam song.

USNA Out members Lindsay
Hawkins ’00, Jeff Petrie ’89,
Paula Neira ’85 and Joe Soto ’83
and the post race brunch

We called and woke up Jeff who’d been out prowling the night before. We arranged for Holly Fryburger ’00 to pick him up at the New Carrolton station on her way into town. The “runners” walked back to the hotel to change into some proper Navy cheering gear. Then we drove onto the Yard where Barb got us some rock star parking in her tricked out Saturn wagon (A.K.A the Shaggin’ Wagon).

The soccer game was well attended. We all commented on that. We took turns with Barb’s parasol. Jeff found us. He and Joe focused on the fashion choices of the players. It was a new and exciting way to watch soccer. I gave Fry the WUBA call to help her find her way through the crowd.

After the Navy victory, we walked to Lejeune Hall. Along the way, we pointed out various areas of interest. We peaked in on the newly renovated King Hall and walked past a D&B practice. We passed a fountain that had been there forever, except in Barb’s memory. I felt so good to be right. I am glad I have been given yet another opportunity to have my rightness documented.

Finally, we arrived at the Hall of Fame. It felt special to have actually known a lot of those folks. They weren’t just great athletes, they were great Mids and great friends as well. I was proud for my classmates and I was proud for Heather. What an accomplishment!

We then posted watch for the mail buoy. Or in this case, finding the plebe pictures of me that used to be in the Visitor’s Center. Well, at least we had some decent shopping time.

Needing as snack, we headed downtown to a cute little gelato place. There our resident DOMs watched twin midshipmen gaze upon one another with imagined longing. It was totally hot. We eventually made it to dinner where we were met by
two of our mids and one of my old plebes from the rugby team. I’m not sure if the guys could hear the conversation on their end of the table, but I actually asked, “Didn’t I shave your head once?” So many stories, so little time.

We got into bed at a decent hour even though the babies were heading to D.C. to rage against the machine. I am so thankful I never had orders back to USNA. That would have been the fast track to women’s prison for me. I needed to clear my head so Heather, Barb, and I had a traditional pre-race pillow fight. Ok that didn’t happen. There’s always next year.

The race was warm. There were stretches with lots of sun exposure. I got to meet Trey. He had dance music in his car on the way to the race. This was a different choice than the “Welcome to the Jungle” I would have selected, but it worked. We all survived the race and we looked fabulous doing it. Paula took it to a new level in the tailgating department. I’m pretty sure I ate one of everything available.

After much needed showers, we had a lovely lunch with some the most hospitable sponsor family ever. The whole weekend was amazing. I felt right at home with my new buddies. I agree with Heather, it seemed like we’d known each other for a long time. We’ll have to come up with some more excuses to hang out.

Beat Army,

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