Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is ready to welcome tens of thousands of runners, spectators and vendors during Air Force Marathon weekend Sept. 13-15.
“We could not be more excited to welcome so many people from all around the country, and even the world, for the 22nd running of the marathon,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon race director. “We’ve really focused on providing a great experience, and I think the runners will really enjoy what we’ve got planned for them.”
Marathon weekend features four event distances, including the full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K race. First held in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Air Force, the Air Force Marathon has grown into a popular event, with runners from all 50 states and eight countries around the world experiencing the thrill of running beneath a C-17 Globemaster III on the final dash to the finish.
The weekend kicks off Sept. 13 with the Air Force Marathon Sports and Fitness Expo at the Wright State University Nutter Center. Doors open at 11 a.m. with more than 100 booths available with the latest developments in sports, fitness and nutrition as well as guest speakers sharing their wisdom from the arena floor, including yoga instructor Jessica Carter who will return to lead runner sessions.
The two-day expo is free, open to the public and runs 11 a.m.to 7 p.m. Sept. 13 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 14, convenient for those running the 5K at Wright State University Friday night with the opening ceremony beginning at 6:15 p.m.
Runners can enjoy a pre-race gourmet pasta dinner Friday evening at the National Museum of the United States Air Force prepared by Wright Patterson Air Force Base’s own chef. The event’s guest speaker is American Olympian and author Jeff Galloway, founder of the Run-Walk-Run training method, known as “American’s Coach.” Galloway has worked with more than 300,000 runners of all ages and abilities and speaks at more than 200 running and fitness events annually.
Everyone who finishes a race will receive a medal celebrating his or her accomplishment with a custom relief of this year’s featured aircraft, the MQ-9 Reaper. An additional special medal awaits those who complete the inaugural Flight-Fight-Win! Challenge, which entails completing three marathon weekend races: the 5K, 10K and half marathon.
Medals are presented at the finish line by senior Air Force leaders. All races begin and end at the National Museum of the United States Air Force except the 5K, which takes place on the Wright State University campus.
The Air Force Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying event, and the course goes past numerous historical landmarks, including Huffman Prairie, where the Wright brothers perfected manned flight.
New this year to marathon course will be military displays from the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army National Guard as well as a national, state and international display of flags leading out of Area A. Runners will also be welcomed by a wide variety of new food and drink choices at the finish line.
The featured aircraft for the 23rd running of the marathon will be unveiled at the after party at the Greene in Beavercreek on Sept. 15.
Visit www.usafmarathon.com for more information about the 2018 Air Force Marathon and get the official 2018 Air Force Marathon app at the Apple App Store or at Google Play.