Air Force Marathon shifts to virtual race due to COVID-19 precautions
By Kimberly Gaither, 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 20, 2021
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) --
Due to increased COVID-19 transmission both locally and statewide, the Air Force Marathon scheduled for Sept. 18 will transition from in-person participation to a virtual event.
The decision was made to protect the health and safety of more than 20,000 participants, volunteers and guests.
“We have watched, wrestled and worked continuously over the past few weeks to determine how to best execute the marathon this year,” said Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander. “To ensure the health and safety of all participants due to the continued high transmission rate of COVID-19 within our surrounding communities, we have decided to transition to a virtual event. Although this decision may be discouraging for some, it was made with the best intentions for all.”
With many options considered, marathon officials understand the disappointment of canceling the in-person race and the genuine experience of the marathon will not be realized at the same level participants have come to know and love.
“Our team feels the same disappointment everyone is feeling now,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. “There is a bigger picture here and that’s the safety of our participants, volunteers, and spectators and members of the Air Force.”
This year would have marked the 25th annual event with more than 11,000 runners from all 50 states and many countries participating.
“Similar to last year, we will have a virtual option and we’d love to have everyone participate,” he said. “For many of you, running with us virtually was just as powerful as this event is to celebrate the Air Force birthday and honor those who gave all in service to our country.”
For registrants, there will be a number of options available from running virtually, deferring or requesting a refund. Further details on this year’s virtual race will be forthcoming from the marathon team.
For more information, visit the Air Force Marathon website and follow the Air Force Marathon Facebook page for the latest updates.