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Air Force Releases First Marathon Details

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 25, 1997 – The Air Force is making a run at celebrating its first 50 years at the birthplace of aviation. The service's first marathon takes place Sept. 20 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

For years the Air Force has been the only military service without an official marathon. That will change with the run at Dayton, birthplace of the Wright Brothers.

"If you're a veteran of the long run -- if you've cruised up Heartbreak Hill in Boston, sped past the monuments in the Marine Corps Marathon [in Washington D.C.] and conquered the five bridges in New York -- you definitely want to add the Air Force Marathon to your 'been there, done that' list," said Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Eickmann, Aeronautical Systems Center commander.

"If you think your service, your base and your unit are the best around, come out Sept. 20 and prove it," Eickmann said. "We're looking for individuals, teams and relay teams who have what it takes to go the distance. I'd like to see every U.S. military installation represented at this inaugural event, making the Air Force Marathon a true joint service experience."

All those who finish the marathon will be considered winners and will receive a medallion that depicts an Air Force aircraft. According to a race official, these medallions are the first in a series and collectors' items.

Special awards will be presented to the top male and female finishers in these categories: overall, masters (40-plus years), grand masters (50-plus years) and wheelchair.

Awards will be given for the three fastest male and female runners in each age group: 19 and under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and 70 and over. Age group winners will be notified and receive prizes by mail.

The wheelchair competition is coordinated by the Program for People with Disabilities. For more information, call Tommy Hurd at (937) 257-5617.

Entries received by Sept. 1 will receive a written confirmation. Confirmations will be mailed starting Aug. 1.

There will also be team competition. Teams will consist of five members, and the first three finishing times within each team will be scored. A team registration form must accompany the fee, along with the team name, captain and individual team members' completed applications. The entire team application package must be received by Sept. 1. Team members are eligible for marathon age group awards.

For more information or to register for the Air Force Marathon, click on "Register Now!" on the marathon Home Page (http://afmarathon.wpafb.af.mil) or call 2nd Lt. Kimberly E. Devereux at (937) 255-2725.

(Courtesy of Air Force News Service)

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