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AF Marathon attracts record-breaking crowds

Runners take off from the starting line of the 2104 U.S. Air Force Marathon Sept. 20, 2014, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The race set an attendance record with approximately 15,000 runners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Libecap)

Runners take off from the starting line of the 2104 U.S. Air Force Marathon Sept. 20, 2014, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The race set an attendance record with approximately 15,000 runners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Libecap)

Steve Chu crosses the finish line and is the winner of the 2014 U.S. Air Force Marathon Sept. 20, 2014, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Chu is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Libecap)

Steve Chu crosses the finish line and is the winner of the 2014 U.S. Air Force Marathon Sept. 20, 2014, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Chu is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Libecap)

Nicoloa Holdsworth crosses the finish line and is the winner of the 2014 U.S. Air Force Marathon’s women’s full marathon Sept. 20, 2014, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. This was Holdworth’s first marathon win. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wes Farnsworth)

Nicoloa Holdsworth crosses the finish line and is the winner of the 2014 U.S. Air Force Marathon’s women’s full marathon Sept. 20, 2014, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. This was Holdworth’s first marathon win. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wes Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- In yet another record sellout year, approximately 15,000 runners took to the streets Sept. 20, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio to participate in the U.S. Air Force Marathon, celebrating the Air Force's 67th birthday.

The number of runners exceeded last year's count by more than 3,000.

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, the commander of Air Force Materiel Command, welcomed runners and spectators to the 18th annual event, which attracted more than 30,000 runners and spectators, and more than 2,300 volunteers.

"It's fitting that just two days after our Air Force's 67th birthday, we conducted the marathon on a course so rich with aviation history,” said Wolfenbarger. “What a privilege for all of us today to have the opportunity to set foot on ground made famous by Orville and Wilbur Wright more than a century ago. I want to sincerely thank all the runners, volunteers and spectators for making this 18th annual Air Force Marathon yet another historical and celebratory event."

The three-day event started Sept. 18, with a Sports and Fitness Expo at the Ervin J. Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. The expo featured an appearance by Boston Marathon director, Dave McGillivray, and highlighted exhibits on the latest in sports, fitness, health and nutrition.

Pre-event activities included a Breakfast of Champions and the annual Gourmet Pasta Dinner, held at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Sept. 19.

It’s also the eighth year of the Air Force's MAJCOM Challenge, a service-wide competition among the Air Force's major commands that encourages marathon participation. More than 80 Airmen participated in the challenge.

Marathon participants had the option of competing in the full marathon, a half-marathon, 10K or 5K, as well as, a wheeled division.

The men's full marathon winner was Steve Chu, from Colorado Springs, Colorado with a time of 2:28. Chu beat his previous marathon time by half an hour, he said.

"It was awesome to beat my time," Chu said. "It was a tough battle. My wife is a major in the Air Force, stationed at Peterson. I really wanted to win this for her."

The women's full marathon winner was Nicola Holdsworth, from Columbus, Ohio with a time of 2:56. It was Holdsworth's first marathon win.

"The conditions were great today," Holdsworth said. "I knew where all the hard parts were going to be. It was all adrenaline at the end."

The Air Force Marathon is sanctioned by the USA Track & Field Association and is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

The following are winners of their respective categories, all times are unofficial at the time of this release:

Men's full marathon: Steve Chu, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2:28

Men's full marathon overall active military winner: Master Sgt. Juanjose Moran, Air Force, Clovis, New Mexico, 2:37

Women's full marathon: Nicola Holdsworth, Columbus, Ohio, 2:56

Women's full marathon overall active military winner: Capt. Jackie Marotta, Air Force, Newport News, Virginia, 3:14

Men's full marathon, crank wheelchair division: Kenneth Bestine, Clymer, New York, 1:18

Women's full marathon, crank wheelchair division: Holly Koester, Walton HIlls, Ohio, 2:13

Men's full marathon, rim wheelchair division: John Moore, Centerville, Ohio, 3:23

Men's half marathon: Josh Ordway, Waynesville, Ohio, 1:07

Men's half marathon overall active military winner: Maj. Martin Conrad, Air Force, Long Beach, California, 1:18

Women's half marathon: Christina Johnston, Xenia, Ohio, 1:20

Women's half marathon overall active military winner: Maj. Alison Anders, Air Force, Beavercreek, Ohio, 1:37

Men's 10K individual: Kyle Brumbaugh, Tipp City, Ohio, 35:45

Men's 10K overall active military winner: Airman 1st Class Dakota Douglass, Air Force, Suffolk, Virginia, 40:23

Women's 10k individual: Anne Portlock, Bloomington, Indiana, 39:17

Women's 10K overall active military winner: Capt. Heather Hultman, Air Force, Arlington, Virginia, 55:58

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