For the second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the annual Air Force Marathon into a virtual-only format.
The organizers made the decision because of increased transmission rates both locally and statewide in Ohio, where the marathon is traditionally held.
“Teammates, I didn’t make this decision lightly, we wrestled with this quite a bit, but know that we are trying to keep your health at the forefront, as well as making sure we are secure and mission ready for the different mission sets we have here at Wright-Patt,” said Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander.
The decision was made to protect the health and safety of over 20,000 participants, volunteers and guests. The race, which had been scheduled for Sept. 18, will now offer a virtual option, similar to 2020.
“With the rising numbers in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, we need to transition this year’s race from an in-person event to a virtual event, similar to what we did last year,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, your health and wellness is our priority, and it is our responsibility to provide a safe environment to run the Air Force Marathon.”
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the surrounding four countries of Wright-Patterson AFB are among 86 in the state assessed as “high risk” for COVID-19 community transmission.
Miller also noted there has been an increase in local hospitalizations within local communities.
This year would have marked the 25th annual Air Force Marathon with more than 11,000 runners from all 50 states and many different countries.
Marathon staff are working to create a seamless virtual race with multiple options for competing virtually.
“I can say with certainty that our entire team understands the disappointment. We are just as disappointed,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. “Your training isn’t lost, and we invite you to join us this year virtually as you did last year. Just remember, it’s all about celebrating the Air Force’s birthday and remembering those who gave all.”
For registrants, there will be a number of options available, from running virtually or deferral to gifting an Airman or requesting a refund.
Complete the full Air Force Marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, Tailwind Trot, “Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge” or three-person marathon relay race virtually anytime in September and receive your 2021 bib(s), medal(s) and race shirt(s).
All products that were purchased and can be shipped (including the challenge coin, sunglasses, coffee mugs and hats) will also be included in your race packet. With this option, participants also receive a 30% discount into any 2022 Air Force Marathon event.
Gift an Airman
This year’s registration fees may be gifted to a military member planning to participate in the 2022 Air Force Marathon. By selecting this option, participants will receive a 30% discount into any 2022 Air Force Marathon race.
Defer to future event
Free race-registration deferral ($15 fee waived) is available to Air Force Marathon weekends scheduled for 2022, 2023 or 2024. However, you will not be automatically entered into any of those events and must register with a promo code that will be provided in December.
All race weekend experience products (Breakfast of Champions or gourmet pasta dinner tickets, race day packet pickup, photo packages and/or Pro Package tickets) will be refunded. All other products previously purchased (including the challenge coin, sunglasses, coffee mugs and hats) will still be shipped to participants who choose to defer.
Full refunds will be issued for the 2021 Air Force Marathon. This includes race registration and all products.
Choose your option
Race participants are asked to follow the instructions below and make their selection by Aug. 29 at 11:59 p.m.
To make your selection, follow the below steps:
- Visit your participant dashboard at https://raceroster.com/dashboard/participants/36357 sign into your Race Roster account using the same registration email.
- Click “Edit Registration” on the right.
- Select your option.
- Click “Save & Exit” to submit your change.
For more information, go to www.usafmarathon.com or call 800-467-1823.