DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The U.S. Air Force Marathon Sports and Fitness Expo opened its doors on Thursday. Thousands of runners came by to pick up their race-day packet.
“There’s thousands of miles to get to this point in training,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director.
Hough said the U.S. Air Force Marathon is Dayton’s race and everyone crossing the finish line has a story.
“Some people are here because their loved ones served. Some people’s parents overcame cancer so they’re running in their honor or running because a family member no longer can,” Hough said.
Attendance had decreased in recent years but this time around, Hough said it’s up due to some changes.
“We added a Tailwind Trot Kids 1K. That sold out. The 5k, which is Friday night is the largest we’ve ever had. We offered a prize purse for the first time ever,” said Hough.
He said roughly 25,000 people will show up as runners, volunteers or spectators. He said the event has a $10 million economic impact in the community.
“We run through Fairborn. We use Riverside, Montgomery County, Greene County. We really rely on the support of the community and they rally around us every year,” Hough said.
The focus for the future includes making the race more accessible to athletes of all abilities. Planning already underway for the 25th anniversary in two years.
“We’re always aiming for bigger and better,” Hough said.
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