- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
I have been wanting to run the Air Force Marathon for years and I finally got the opportunity to this year. The main reason I have not ran it before is because it is on a Saturday morning and my daughters are running cross country and have meets on Saturdays. So unfortunately, It will probably be some time before I am able to do it again.
The expo is held on the campus of Wright State. There is race merch right when you enter the arena and vendors all around the concourse. Then you go down the arena steps to the basketball floor where there are more vendors and where you get your bib and shirts.
Every year, Air Force Marathon has a featured aircraft. This years was KC-46 Pegasus (re-fueler plane). The KC-46 Pegasus was featured on the shirt and the finishers medals. The shirts were very nice and comfortable. No complaints there. The medals were also huge and heavy.
As far as where to stay for race weekend, there really isn't a place to stay right by the Air Force Base that you can just walk out of your hotel and walk to the start. But on race morning, there are some parking options. The one that I recommend most is that you can go to the campus of Wright State and park at the arena to take a shuttle. You have to be there early to do so however. There is also parking at the base but traffic can be a nightmare. If you take the shuttle, it will also drop you off right by the start line.
The Start is right on the Air Force Base. Before the race, they had a flyover with the KC-46 Pegasus which was pretty cool. Unfortunately, there was a lightning delay that lasted probably 30-45 minutes. Reading one other review I think that there was confusion on why there was a delay and they did not have us go inside. While it did rain at the start, there was no lightning in the area of the start. However, if the race started, then we would be running right into the direction of the lightning which would have put runners in danger. Luckily there were plenty of tents to hide under.
It was a hot day for the race, which was out of the control of the race directors. They did have extra aid stations especially in the last few miles to help runners out as best as they could. This meant that there were aid stations every mile for the last 10k. In post race announcements, it sounds like this will be an every year thing now. The course does have a couple of tough hills especially in the first mile of the race. However, it really isn't that bad. There is actually more elevation gain in the half marathon than the marathon. The volunteers on the course were great and very helpful.
I would say the only thing that they need to work on is the gels. They were missing from the course until late into the race. The race director also admitted to messing that part up and I can respect that. Things happen. This is why you should never rely on gels being out there and bring your own.
If you would like to see my full race review, check out my YouTube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKpupnJ2He8