Albatross Manila April 13 1909http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/Albatross/vol043of055/vol043of055_0188_1.jpgLieut-Commander C.M.McCormick, U.S.N., Lieutenant B.G.Barthalow, U.S.N., Asst' Paymaster H.Dial, U.S.N., and Chief Boatswain R.Rohange, U.S.N., left ship at 3:15 for U.S.Naval Hospital at Canacao, for medical examination prior to taking the physical test required by General Order No6, of January 4, 1909, and returned at 5:00.
The test was to walk 50 miles over 3 consecutive days.
A Navy history blog I found explains this as follows
Today's U.S. Navy espouses a "culture of fitness," and "physical readiness," but this was not
always so. In the early 1900s, many including the president himself, Theodore Roosevelt,
were appalled by the lack of physical conditioning in the Navy.
In his autobiography, Roosevelt wrote, "Many of the older officers were so unfit physically
that their condition would have excited laughter, had it not been so serious to think that they
belonged to the military arm of the Government."! Not being one to sit aimlessly aside on any issue of importance, Roosevelt charged forth with an attempt to change the desk- bound
culture of the military. As a result he helped establish the forerunner of today's Physical
Readiness Training Program.
The new test gave officers the choice of completing one of three options: a fifty mile walk
within three consecutive days and in total of twenty hours; a ride on horseback at a distance of ninety miles within three consecutive days; or a ride on a bicycle at a distance of 100 miles within three consecutive days. All personnel taking the test would be examined by a Navy Medical Board to determine whether the test may be taken without risk and report again to the board upon completion. Officers would not be promoted unless they passed the exam and their medical record would now include a fitness report.