‘Keeps getting better every year’: What to know about this weekend’s U.S. Air Force Marathon

Starting line at Air Force Marathon
Starting line at Air Force Marathon

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is set to welcome more than 12,000 runners, spectators and vendors during the Air Force Marathon weekend on Friday and Saturday.

“We are thrilled to welcome people to the 23rd Air Force Marathon,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon race director. “I believe the marathon keeps getting better every year. We have made several improvements this year to enhance the runners’ and spectators’ experience, so I hope they will enjoy what we’ve got planned for them.”

Marathon weekend features four event distances including the full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K.

First held in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Air Force, the Air Force Marathon has grown into a very popular event, with runners from all 50 states and eight countries around the world experiencing the thrill of running beneath a C-17 Globemaster III on the final dash to the finish.

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New this year, a Tailwind Trot 1K kid’s run has been added for the little ones to also enjoy the weekend festivities. The 1K will be held on Friday prior to the 5K at Wright State University.

The 10K, half and full courses have also been rerouted to improve runner’s experience as well as adding a new corral system to help ease the flow of runner traffic at the starting line.

Runners will also be welcomed by a wide variety of new food and drink choices at the finish line.

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Runners near the finish in Air Force Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. David Jablonski/Staff
Runners near the finish in Air Force Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. David Jablonski/Staff

Gate and road information for the Air Force Marathon


Gate 1A (Fairborn)

Gate 1A will be open from 5:30 to 6 a.m. for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The gate will be closed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. as it is part of the marathon route. Operations return to normal hours following the marathon.

Gate 12A (Air Force Materiel Command)

Gate 12A will be open 24/7 for vehicle traffic; however, vehicles will only have access to Spruce Way via Redbud Lane. There is no access via Estabrook/Sugar Maple. This will provide access to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Security Forces, Wright-Patterson Medical Center and the Kittyhawk Area.

Gate 16A (Ohio Route 444 Commercial Vehicle)

Gate 16A will be open from 4 to 7 a.m. for volunteers only. Area A-only commercial vehicles will be inspected at Gate 12A for Commissary/Base Exchange deliveries.

Gate 26A (445th Airlift Wing)

Gate 26A will be open from 4 to 7 a.m. and again from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. for marathon volunteer and Fire Department personnel entry and exit only.

Gate 15A (Ohio Route 844)

Gate 15A will be closed as it is part of the marathon route.


Gate 19B (National Road)

Gate 19B will be open as normal; however, restricted access throughout Area B will be in effect until the last runner passes 8th Street. Restricted access should be lifted by 1 pm; however, this is subject to change.

Gate 1B (Springfield Street)

Gate 1B will be closed as it is part of the marathon route.

Gate 22B (Interstate 675 gate)

Gate 22B will be open from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. for public access.

Public Access Parking Gates (4 a.m. to 4 p.m. only)

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The public may access the Air Force Marathon areas via the Spinning Road Gate, located at the intersection of Spinning and Airway roads; the Armory Gate, located on Harshman Road; and Gate 22B, the Interstate 675 gate, left turn only.

The gate at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Springfield Street will be open from 4 to 7:30 a.m. for Air Force Marathon staff, museum staff, people with disabilities, shuttles and Distinguished Visitor parking (a Lot A or Lot B pass will be required). After 7:30 a.m., the museum gate will be open to the public during its normal hours of operation.


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