FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – It can be hard to get a good view of the Air Force Marathon runners as they take off at the starting line.
Thousands gather at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base to support loved ones and cheer on participants.
On miles 14-16 of the marathon, runners will make their way through downtown Fairborn. As they enter town, they’ll be greeted by a downtown block party thrown in the heart of town called the Fairborn Fly Zone.
Family members and spectators are encouraged to come to the downtown Fairborn area after the runners have taken off from the start line. Once there, spectators will have multiple opportunities to spot runners and offer words of encouragement.
Fairborn Fly Zone lines the streets with bleachers and benches for spectators to take seats and get a variety of views of the running path.
They also offer a series of family friendly events throughout the marathon including live music, DJ’s, kids face-paint stands, and food from local favorites like Lefty’s Eats & Espresso.
For those that begin their day at the start of the race, Fly Zone will be offering a free shuttle ride using Fairborn City School buses.
The event also features a stand that provides signs and markers to anyone who wants to hold up words of encouragement for the runners.
Fairborn Fly Zone’s co-chair Linda Riffle said the event gives attendees a unique view of an event that has largely been limited to areas of the base with a restricted view for spectators. Fly Zone gives them a less crowded, more visible look at the runners.
To see photos from past years of the event, view the gallery below:
They expect runners to begin arriving in town around 8:45 am.
“It’s very unique,” said Riffle, “We’re one of the few places close enough to the base to be able to host [this event].”
Organizers hope the event gives runners the boost of energy and encouragement they need to get to the finish line.
“It’s a lot of energy,” said Riffle. “There’s a bunch of teenagers jumping up and down and cheering people on. The spectators come out and get caught up in the atmosphere.”
The event runs from 8 am-11 am on Saturday, Sept. 21. Admission is free.
For more updates, officials said to check their page.
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