Air Force Marathon gets new mascot

Tailwind, the eagle, has landed.

The Air Force Marathon’s first-ever mascot fluttered into view briefly Friday afternoon outside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the same place the big bird will join thousands of runners from around the world on the starting line next month.

Under a sweltering August sun, the human-sized costumed eagle mascot dressed in blue running shirt and shorts, and sneakers didn’t have to wait long for his first fan photo.

“I wanted a picture with the eagle really bad, actually,” said Benjamin Stuckey, 23, who after spotting the mascot in a museum lot outdoors made a quick and straight line to the costumed bird.

The biggest draw? “The fact that he was wearing tennis shoes,” the Springfield man said.

Marathon Director Rob Aguiar said the eagle’s arrival will connect spectators, runners and volunteers alike to the marathon that draws more than 15,000 runners to run a series of races Sept. 17 at Wright-Patterson.

“We’re super excited to have him,” Aguiar said. “We were out here less than three minutes (and the fan who asked for the photo) proved what Tailwind is going to do.”

The marathon is looking for more mascot performers, too, he said. It’s gotten a “handful” of people, Aguiar said, who will tryout 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

For more information and to pre-register for the audition, log onto and click on the red "volunteer now" button.

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