An estimated 500 participants in this year's Air Force Marathon who couldn't finish the race because of the heat will be offered a complimentary entry into either the 2019 or 2020 event, race Director Brandon Hough said in an email to participants Monday.
The offer does not apply to participants who dropped out of the event, Hough said in the email.
"This is specifically for the runners who were stopped when we closed the course at Gate 15A," he said.
Hough said race officials believe the Sept. 14-15 edition of the race was the hottest on record for the 5K, held on that Friday night and the three races on Saturday.
"We've seen all types of weather in 22 years but this one was special," he wrote. "In the face of adversity, our runners were nothing shy of amazing!"
He and race officials also praised the volunteers, logistics and medical/fire partners who also braved the elements those two days.
"We unfortunately had to make a tough call on Saturday around noon to partially shut down our full marathon which impacted about 500 participants," Hough said in the email.
This call was not made on a whim, he said, noting that race officials have a team of professionals who meet frequently on race day and monitor how the event is progressing.
"We decided as we approached black flag that if we went past 85 Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, we would need to halt runners.
"This temperature came faster than anyone predicted and when it did, we made a decision that attempted to minimize the impact on runners still on the course while maximizing our ability to safely manage the heat related injuries that were increasing with every minute."
Hough wrote that race officials feel the frustration of participants who could not reach the goal they set that day.
"We are aware of the time and financial investments that go into completing a marathon," he said.
- The 23rd annual marathon is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2019.
- The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus will be the featured aircraft, Hough said.
- Registration will open on Jan. 1, 2019. at usafmarathon.com