ONI’s Holtmeyer Goes the Extra Mile to Raise Money for Dining-In

The Office of Naval Intelligence’s Lieutenant Commander Dane Holtmeyer took action, literally, to raise money for this year’s Naval Intelligence Officer Dining-In—by soliciting pledges* for the Nashville Country Music Marathon he was planning to run on 27 April 2024. And with less than a week to collect the pledges, he ultimately raised $1432.33 for the cause. He completed the marathon in 2:59:25 in an average pace of 6:48 minutes per mile, with 21 sub-7:00 miles.

Holtmeyer is stationed at Farragut Technical Analysis Center at ONI, and since Farragut has the honor of planning this year's Naval Intelligence Officer Dining-In, Holtmeyer is one of the planners. When they looked at the cost, he and another colleague recognized that the event could benefit from some fundraising. Borrowing an idea from elementary schools and nonprofits across the nation, Holtmeyer sought pledges for the marathon he was scheduled to run. NIP was supportive of his efforts and helped to advertise the fundraiser. Holtmeyer gave his donors the option of contributing a flat donation of choice or challenging him to run faster by pledging a monetary value of choice for each sub-7:00 minute mile he ran over the course of the 26.2 mile race. After the race, he provided a screenshot of his splits to every person that made a pledge. 

LCDR Dane Holtmeyer rounds a turn in the first half of the Nashville Country Music Marathon, 27 April 2024.

Holtmeyer provided the following race recap: 

“I want to start by saying thank you to those that made pledges for my sub 7:00 minute/mile goal. $42/mile was a great motivator for me to keep pushing through the last ten miles. 

The day started off overcast, in the mid-60s with a bit of humidity (a little warm for a long race). I managed to work my way through the crowd of 3300 marathon runners (plus a lot more half marathon runners) to my starting corral just in time for the race announcer to make a comment about how she hoped the sun would burn away the clouds (there was a collective groan at this comment, and a little dissent). After a lovely rendition of the national anthem, the race began. 

From the gun, I told myself I was going to take it easy for the first couple of miles, but my competitive heart didn't listen to my logical brain, so I ran my first five miles 10-20 seconds per mile faster than I had planned to run them, as I raced against a lot of people that were only running half as far as me. Around mile five, I met up with a woman from Leesburg, Virginia who was trying to set her personal record for a half marathon. Her pace felt comfortable, so I stayed with her until the course split at mile 11. From miles 11 through 18, I ran consistently, albeit pretty much by myself, through a scenic city trail before crossing over the Cumberland River. 

And then the pain started. Miles 18 to 24 felt like they were all uphill. Even though I wasn’t hitting my sub-7:00 goal, the pledges kept me going and I passed a lot of people, as other racers fell apart. Mile 25 was mostly downhill, so I managed to squeak out one more fast mile, and then it was around the Titans stadium to the finish line. 

The smile depicted in the photo was one that recognized the race was over and the beer tent was only a quarter mile walk away! And the sun did come out, just as I was finishing the race, making for some beautiful weather for listening to the post-race celebration band! 

Thank you again for all the support!”

*The fundraiser was not endorsed by or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense or constituent components.