AFMC captures AF Marathon major command trophy

  • Published
  • By Kathleen A.K. Lopez
  • Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs
Air Force Materiel Command, headquartered here, is the sophomore winner of the U.S. Air Force Marathon Major Command Challenge Commander's Trophy.

The announcement was made Oct. 3 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz.

General Schwartz presented the traveling trophy to Gen. Bruce Carlson, AFMC commander. The trophy had resided with last year's inaugural winner, Air Education and Training Command, headquartered at Randolph AFB, Texas.

The presentation was made before a crowd of more than 100 people, including commanders of the Air Force's other major commands and senior Defense Department officials. The leaders were at the Air Force Academy to attend Fall CORONA, a conference held three times a year enabling senior Air Force civilian and military leaders to gather for frank, open discussion about the service.

General Schwartz acknowledged the support of all major commands in making the Air Force Marathon a landmark competition. That support has resulted in the growing interest in the marathon, he said, noting that 7,400 runners participated this year, versus 6,300 last year.

"This is quite an honor," General Carlson said. "I couldn't be more proud of the men and women of AFMC. And, I'm proud of the other thousands of runners who chose to participate in the Air Force Marathon.

"The past couple years we have witnessed Air Force marathon awareness and participation really take off," he said. "We have nearly doubled our numbers from just a few years ago. Next, year, I hope we get to 10,000 runners."

The MAJCOM Challenge is a service-wide competition. The challenge took place Sept. 20.

The competition was formed to serve as incentive for MAJCOM leaders to encourage participation in this nationally-recognized fitness event, said Molly Louden, marathon director. The challenge is open to active-duty and activated Guard and Reserve servicemembers.

The competition is based on a point system which factors in participation and performance in the full- and half-marathon events and determines which major command in the Air Force has the best long-distance runners, Ms. Louden said.

Runners from all nine Air Force MAJCOMs as well as the Air National Guard participated, with 578 servicemembers completing the full marathon and 522 completing the half marathon -- 1,100 runners total -- for a record 17,527.8 miles run or walked.

The trophy will continue to be awarded annually during the Fall CORONA to the commander of the winning MAJCOM, Ms. Louden said.

The 2009 USAF Marathon is scheduled for Sept. 19. The full- and half-marathon races, along with a 10-kilometer race, will begin and end at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

The course takes runners through historical sites on Wright-Patterson AFB such as Huffman Prairie, where the founding fathers of modern-day flight, Orville and Wilbur Wright, first learned to fly. The course was recertified this year and now incorporates the streets of neighboring downtown Fairborn, Ohio, and Wright State University. This allows the public better access to the course to cheer on racers.

Click here for more on the U.S. Air Force Marathon.

(Editor's note: Capt. Elaine M. Bryant, AFMC aide-de-camp to the commander, contributed to this article).

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This table outlines the results for participating Air Force major commands and the Air National Guard.