Sailors and Marines participate in a cancer awareness 5K run on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Oct. 26. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Emily Johnston)

ARABIAN SEA - U.S. Navy Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) participated in a cancer awareness five kilometer (5K) run on the ship's flight deck, Oct. 26.

The 5K run was held to raise awareness for all those who have been affected by cancer.

"Cancer has touched so many people that many of you know," said Cmdr. J.W. David Kurtz, executive officer of Nimitz. "Chances are someone you love has been touched by cancer and has affected your family. This is a good chance to be a part of something that shows support."

More than 250 runners showed up to participate in the race, which consisted of 15 laps around the flight deck with nothing on the horizon but the open ocean. Music was played through speakers and could be heard across the entire flight deck.

Before the run started, guest speakers spoke about their personal experiences with cancer and how it has affected their lives.

"My mom had cancer," said Nimitz' Command Master Chief, Jimmy Hailey. "You know how cancer is, unfortunately, we still don't have a cure. She passed on the day before my birthday in 2014. I'm a big believer in the fact that one day we're going to find a cure. This is a god-awful, terrible disease and little things like this make a difference."

The Chiefs Mess aboard Nimitz purchased, donated and handed out T-shirts to the first 100 runners across the finish line. During the event it was also announced that the Chiefs Mess donated $700 towards cancer cure research.

"We wanted to get the Nimitz up here on the flight deck today to run a 5K for cancer awareness," said Chief Legalman Misty Masters, from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. "They're running for those they love, those they've lost, and to help find a cure."

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.