Marathon signals growing partnership between base, university

  • Published
  • By Chris McGee
  • Aeronautical Systems Center Public Affairs
The U.S. Air Force Marathon's 5K race has a new location and date for 2007.

Signifying a new partnership between Wright-Patterson AFB and nearby Wright State University, this year's 5K race will take place on the university's campus Sept. 14, the day before the marathon, which will be held at the base.

In the past, the race took place along with the marathon on base. Moving it to Wright State allows officials to highlight the race as a separate marathon-related event, forging a special partnership between the base and the university.

"Partnerships with the community have always been strong as far back as the early days of Wright Field, and that theme continues as strong as ever today," said Col. Colleen M. Ryan, 88th Air Base Wing commander. "This 5K partnership between Wright-Patt and Wright State is just one of the many ways we partner, and we are thrilled to have fitness added to that list. I encourage everyone to come out and join in this tremendous event."

The joint effort between Wright-Patterson AFB and Wright State is unfolding in a year when both the Air Force and the university are celebrating significant anniversaries. The U.S. Air Force Marathon is a key event in the service's 60th Anniversary commemoration, and Wright State is observing its 40th Anniversary.

Dr. David R. Hopkins, Wright State president, emphasized that the 5K is just the latest manifestation of a long and growing partnership between the base and the university.

"Since our founding, Wright State has partnered with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on research, education and health care initiatives," Dr. Hopkins said. "Now, as we present the inaugural U.S. Air Force 5K race held at Wright State, we are happy that fun and fitness are among our long list of collaborations.

"Both the Air Force and the university are commemorating significant anniversaries this year, and I am delighted that together, we can offer this community event as part of our celebrations," he said. 

This year's 5K will offer special features for participants and volunteers alike, including an Air Force aircraft flyover and musical entertainment.

Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and other Air Force senior officers will join Brad Brownell, Wright State men's basketball head coach; Bridgett Williams, women's basketball head coach; Sylvia Kamp, women's track head coach and men's and women's cross country head coach; along with members of the university board of trustees, faculty and staff to present medals to winners at the finish line.

The 5K will start and finish at the Ervin J. Nutter Center at Wright State, with the course winding around the university campus. The race begins at 5:30 p.m., with awards being presented at 6:30 p.m.

The race is open to the public but is limited to the first 1,500 runners who register. Those who wish to register may do so by visiting the U.S. Air Force Marathon Web site.

The cost of registration is $20 per person until Sept. 7; after that date, the fee will increase to $25. Runners, walkers and wheelchair participants are all welcome to register.

Categories of award competition include overall male and female, along with separate categories by gender recognizing first, second and third place winners for the following: boys' and girls' open (ages 12 and under), male and female juniors' open (ages 13-19), men's and women's open (ages 20-29 and 30-39 categories), men's and women's open masters (ages 40-49), men's and women's open grand masters (ages 50-59 and 60 and over).

Each runner who finishes the course will receive a medallion.

Runners are required to show personal identification to pick up their bib and runner packet at the Sports and Fitness Exposition to be held at the Ervin J. Nutter Center at Wright State Sept. 13-14 from noon to 7 p.m. Packets will include a t-shirt and other items.

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