Support our mission

Sooooo, I only run when someone is chasing me — and he has to have a gun. Why do you run marathons?

It helps keep my weight down, and actually, because of the camaraderie. I run with a great group.

No Bingo halls to go to to make friends?

I like being physically fit. That’s part of my job as a sailor.

How many run in your group?

As many as 13, sometimes as few as just two of us running. The die-hards.

Or what some of us like to call the crazies.

[Laughter] OK, OK. I can’t say I enjoy running. And like you said, sometimes it’s about someone chasing, though in some places around here, those are dogs. (Naples has a high number of stray dogs and cats about. Dogs chase. They tend to be hungry.) But it’s almost like therapy. And it’s great for networking.

How many marathons have you run?

Two, one in Prague and one in Naples. I’m getting ready to run the one in Rome on March 26.

What’s it like to run in marathons in Europe?

It’s great — I do it for the bragging rights.

You can tell me: How stinky are your sneakers?

Not at all. I change my shoes often.

I’ve seen people who have, let’s say “quirky” rituals, and have watched people getting ready to run a marathon and slather Vaseline everywhere. I mean everywhere. Do you?

I’m not telling you everything, but I do use Vaseline. Vaseline keeps your skin intact. With all that rubbing, it can be pretty painful if you don’t take the right precautions.

Interview by Sandra Jontz.

Chynthia Richardson

Age: 40

Avocation: Marathon runner

Day job: Petty Officer 1st Class in the U.S. Navy and a legalman with Region Legal Service Office, Naples, Italy.

Europe readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Send the person’s name and contact information to


stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up