FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – The 25th annual Air Force Marathon is now virtual for the second year in a row. The announcement came Thursday, a little more than a month before the race date of September 18.
Assistant Director of the Air Force Marathon, Rachael Ferguson, says the decision was made to go virtual because of the HPCON Bravo designation on base.
“It was a very difficult decision for us to make and we’re really sad about it because we we’re hoping to do this in person this year,” said Ferguson. “They have a country to serve and that’s why we have to look out for the health and wellness of our airmen and military personnel first,” said Ferguson.
Participants have the option to still do the marathon virtually, defer their registration until the 2022 race, get a full refund, or gift their registration to an Airman for the 2020 race.
“The lower grades like E1, E2…they want to participate but don’t always have the ability to,” explained Ferguson. “So they write [to] us, they share their story, and we’re able to gift them entry into the event.”
Although the platform is changing, people who still want to run this year can still get the marathon experience.
“They still get their medal, their shirt, their patch and a couple other things that come with the marathon experience [and] we try to do some live stream events where they can interact a little bit with what it our event would have been on race day,” said Ferguson.
Organizers also say the virtual format allows more people to participate from places that may not have before. Last year they had the most participants from other countries join virtually.
Ultimately organizers say the change was a way to honor and protect those who serve our country.
For more information on the Air Force Marathon, click here.