The U.S. Air Force Marathon will offer complimentary entries to select elite and sub-elite runners and push-rim athletes along with $19,000 in cash prizes for the first time ever. The new elite program is designed to raise the bar on programs offered by the USAFM in support of local, national and Department of Defense runners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Al Bright)

Marathon program offering prizes, free entry to qualifying runners

For the first time in its 22-year history, the U.S. Air Force Marathon will offer complimentary entries to elite and sub-elite runners and push-rim athletes along with $19,000 in cash prizes.

“We really want to highlight the incredible talent of runners locally, nationally and those within the Department of Defense. We also want to put a spotlight on our fantastic push-rim athletes,” said Brandon Hough, U.S. Air Force Marathon director. “The Air Force Marathon is a national-class event, and we want to continue to raise the bar on the programs we offer.”

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Elite and sub-elite runners who meet qualification times (see table) will be in the running for complimentary entries with push-rim athletes considered on a case-by-case basis. Accepted elite athletes will also receive a VIP package that includes entry to the marathon’s gourmet pasta dinner, Breakfast of Champions and a parking pass with VIP area access on race day.

Elite and sub-elite runners who meet qualification times will be in the running for complimentary entries with push-rim athletes considered on a case-by-case basis.
Photo: 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Only applications submitted through the online elite application form will be considered, and all athletes must have run on a certified course since Jan. 1, 2018. If an application is accepted, the runner will receive an e-mail from Hough with a code to register for the marathon. All applications must be submitted no later than Sept. 1, 2019, through this link: https://raceroster.com/17452/register?access_code=2019AFMElite.

Elite, sub-elite and chosen push-rim athletes will compete for a total of $19,000 in prize money in Open, Masters (40+), Military (Active or Active Reserves in a Department of Defense military component), Ohio (must physically reside in Ohio throughout the year) and Push-Rim categories, with a $1,000 bonus to any U.S. man or woman who runs an Olympic Trials qualifying mark in the marathon, currently 2:19:00 for men and 2:45:00 for women.

Runners may compete and be awarded in multiple categories if they are eligible with all cash awards based on gun time.

“Elite runners come from all backgrounds. At the level of the prize purse being offered, most are runners who have full-time jobs in other career fields,” Hough said. “They’re teachers, city employees, military members, etc. They come from all walks of life but share a passion for running at the highest level. The USAFM is in a strong position to be able to support local, DOD and national class runners and push-rim athletes who have trained so hard and put so much into their running. We would like to reward those efforts.”

Hough said he hopes that offering the elite program will raise the exposure of the Air Force Marathon to another demographic of runner by offering the program.

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