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19th Air Force Marathon kicks off

Runners take off at the start of the 2015 U.S. Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Sept 19, 2015. (Courtesy photo/Wes Farnsworth)

Runners take off at the start of the 2015 U.S. Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Sept 19, 2015. (Courtesy photo/Wes Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- Thousands of runners and spectators from across the country and around the world met on the grounds of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, for the 19th annual U.S. Air Force Marathon, Sept. 19.

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the Air Force Materiel Command commander, welcomed race participants to the event.

"Yesterday marked the 68th birthday of the United States Air Force," Pawlikowski said. "So it is appropriate that the Air Force Marathon, which has become a proud tradition, is celebrated right here at the birthplace of aviation. I can't think of a more perfect venue than the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to commemorate these two events and more than 100 years of aviation history. Thank you to everyone who made this 19th annual Air Force Marathon possible."

The three-day event started Sept. 17 with a Sports and Fitness Expo held at the Ervin J. Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University. The expo highlighted exhibits on the latest in sports, fitness, health and nutrition.

Pre-race activities included a Breakfast of Champions and the annual Gourmet Pasta Dinner, held at the museum Sept. 18.

Col. John Devillier, the 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, thanked the people responsible for putting on the marathon.

"This is my second year here and my first opportunity to see first-hand, all the hard work and planning that goes into creating a world class event" Devillier said. "I'm especially thankful to the thousands of volunteers who gave their time and energy to helping us, our sponsors who make this all possible and the incredible support we get from the local communities with their police, fire and emergency medical team support."

During the event, runners had the option of competing in the full marathon, a half-marathon, and 10K, as well as a wheeled division.

This year's men's full marathon winner was Jason Brosseau, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a time of 2:46:01.

Brosseau said that his determination and energy of the crowd helped him finish the race.

"My advice is don't let anything stop you," Brosseau said. "Just keep on pushing."

This year's women's full marathon winner was Elissa Ballas, of Chicago, Illinois, with a time of 2:57:21.

Ballas thanked race volunteers for their support during the race.

"All of the volunteers were outstanding," Ballas said. "It can be kind of lonely out on the course and having volunteers out there helps. Today is my last day in the Air Force and it has been so meaningful to be here."

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

Winners are listed below. All times are unofficial at the time of this release:
-- Men's Full Marathon: Jason Brosseau, Colorado Springs, Colorado; 2:46:01
-- Women's Full Marathon: Elissa Ballas, Chicago, Illinois; 2:57:21
-- Men's Full Marathon, handcranked wheelchair division: David Berling, Avondale, Arizona; 1:18:50
-- Women's Full Marathon, handcranked wheelchair division: Thea Rosa, Sacramento, California; 1:41:47
-- Men's Half Marathon: Isaiah Bragg, Dublin, Ohio; 1:11:28
-- Women's Half Marathon: Anne Portlock, Bloomington, Indiana; 1:23:59
-- Men's 10K: Steve Chu, Colorado Springs; 32:25
-- Women's 10K: Caitlin Oviatt, Dayton, Ohio; 39:35
-- Men's 5K: Tyler Sullivan, Iowa City, Iowa; 17:01
-- Women's 5K: Angela Kasten, Davison, Michigan; 21:15

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