WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — On your mark, get set, go! In yet another record sell-out year, approximately 15,000 runners took to the streets at Wright Patterson AFB as part of 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, 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 this year.
“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. 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,” said Wolfenbarger. “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 held 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.
This year was 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 Air Force personnel participated in the challenge.
Marathon participants had the option of competing in the full marathon, a half-marathon, and 10K and 5K, as well as a wheeled division.
This year’s men’s full marathon winner was Steve Chu, Colorado Springs, Colo., 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,” said Chu. “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.”
This year’s women’s full marathon winner was Nicola Holdsworth, Columbus, Ohio with a time of 2:56.
This year’s marathon was Holdsworth’s first marathon win.
“The conditions were great today,” said Holdsworth. “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.
Winners are listed below. All times are unofficial at the time of this release:
— Men’s Full Marathon: Steve Chu, Colorado Springs, Colo.: 2:28
— Men’s Full Marathon overall active military winner: Master Sgt. Juanjose Moran, U.S. Air Force, Clovis, N.M.: 2:37
— Women’s Full Marathon: Nicola Holdsworth, Columbus, Ohio: 2:56
— Women’s Full Marathon overall active military winner: Capt. Jackie Marotta, U.S. Air Force, Newport News, Va.: 3:14
— Men’s Full Marathon, crank wheelchair division: Kenneth Bestine, Clymer, N.Y.: 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, U.S. Air Force, Long Beach, Calif.: 1:18
— Women’s Half Marathon: Christina Johnston, Xenia, Ohio: 1:20
— Women’s Half Marathon overall active military winner: Maj. Alison Anders, U.S. 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, U.S.Air Force, Suffolk, Va.: 40:23
— Women’s 10k Individual: Anne Portlock, Bloomington, Ind.: 39:17
— Women’s 10K overall active military winner: Capt. Heather Hultman, U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Va.: 55:58