AF Marathon newest challenge: Run three races for new medal

Air Force Marathon runners who want more running will have a new challenge in the 2018 competition: Entering up to three races to qualify for a new medal, organizers say.

The Fly-Fight-Win Challenge Series will reward runners who complete the 5K race at Wright State University on Sept. 14 and the 10K and half-marathon on the main race day Sept. 15.

“The main focus of the challenge is really to try to bring some excitement, something new,” said Rob Aguiar, marathon director.

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If a runner completes all three, they will be awarded a new “premium medal,” organizers say. One catch: A competitor will have to be able to complete the 10K in less than an hour to have enough time to start the half-marathon. In all, competitors could walk away with a total of four medals, Aguiar said. Up to 500 runners will be allowed to run all three races.

“We know we have do it because it’s something they mention to us quite a bit,” Aguiar said. “… They’re looking for folks to recognize (them) for doing it.”

The marathon is working on a design for the new medal. “As runners go, they sure love those medals,” he said. “We’re certainly going to make to make it eye-popping and something that runners enjoy and be very proud to add to the collection of other medals that they’ve obtained.”

The marathon has said it would search for ways to boost the numbers of those participating after the 2017 race did not sell out for the first time since 2009. This year, nearly 13,700 runners participated.

The race has drawn more than 15,000 runners each year since 2012, reaching a peak of more than 15,400 in 2013. Aguiar with the addition of the challenge, “the whole goal is to increase fun.”

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Registration for the 2018 series of races — which also features a full marathon — starts at 9 a.m. Jan. 2.

The marathon attracts more than 15,000 competitors from all 50 states and countries from Japan to England who travel to Wright-Patterson to compete for the competition that began in 1997.

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