Celebrating the Army PT Ponytail!


What better way to enjoy Summer Solstice in Alaska than a run in the midnight sun on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail! Even though it was overcast, Anchorage had more than 19 hours of daylight June 21, when the sun’s zenith was at its furthest point from the equator.

I was also celebrating the new Army Regulation released this past spring that allows female Soldiers to wear a ponytail in PTs. Previously, those of us with long locks had to secure our hair in a tight bun while wearing the physical training uniform.

The Coastal Trail I ran winds along the Cook Inlet coastline. Eleven miles of paved path stretch from downtown Anchorage to the Kincaid Park chalet. This is my favorite training ground in Anchorage to prepare for the Army Physical Fitness Test. Stunning views, convenient mile markers and gently rolling hills make for a challenging but fun course.

I love the comfort and stability of these ASICS Gel-Kayano shoes from Skinny Raven Sports. One of the best running stores in the nation, the pros at Skinny Raven use tools to help identify foot types and analyze a runner’s gait before pulling a range of shoe options specific to each athlete’s needs. This military-friendly store with two locations in Anchorage offers a 10% discount to service members.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a link to my favorite training program I use to prepare for the 2-mile run of the APFT: Hal Higdon’s 5-K training plan. Higdon offers novice, intermediate and advanced plans that can be easily adjusted for a 2-mile event. Best known for marathon training expertise, Higdon has been a runner and writer for more than a half a century and lives in Indiana, where I grew up.

Many thanks to photographer Ash Adams for spending Summer Solstice with me on the trail!

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Just a reminder that regulations vary among uniforms and services. Regulations change so be sure to check the current regulation. And, consult your chain of command for official interpretation of the regs!

The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the positions or opinions of the Department of Defense, U.S. Army or any Reserve component.


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