Tuesday, September 22, 2009

11 Reasons to do the U.S. Air Force Marathon

I've completed a full marathon only twice in my walking career -- both at the U.S. Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH. The half marathon distance was introduced here a couple years ago, and I've entered it several times. Both are great races! From my perspective, following are 11 Reasons You Should do the U.S. Air Force Marathon in 2010.

1. The generous finish times. The marathon is open for 8 hours and the half for 6 hours. If you are worried about speed, this is a good race to try.
2. The new half marathon course is relatively flat. There used to be a horrendous hill at about mile 3 on the way out, and about mile 10 on the way back. The huge hills are gone.
3. Great shirts! Whether they are the older long-sleeved cotton tees (my favorite cotton tees), or the new short-sleeved technical shirts, this race always offers great shirts! And they offer women's sizes -- my shirt fits!
4. The medals are big, heavy and cool. You KNOW when this medal is around your neck! I believe that the medals I have from this event are the best in my collection.
5. One of the best finish lines ever. When you turn that final corner and have the opportunity to finish among those great antique war planes ... it's amazing. In previous years, a general put my medal around my neck. (That didn't happen this year.)
6. Some of the most enthusiastic "hydration stations" ever. But I did feel sorry for the people at the Gilligan's Island themed stop. They played the show's theme song over and over and over...
7. You get the chance to enter a race with members of all branches of the military who are currently serving to protect our country! These people are fit!
8. Fly overs at the start and during the race. By the time you hear the planes they are already gone.
9. The gourmet pasta dinner was one of the best ever! The keynote speaker this year was very inspiring, even though he is a runner.
10. This year's food tent was phenomenal! There was all kinds of great recovery foods from bagels and bananas to chocolate milk and La Rosa's pizza! Oh, and there was tons of ice cold water available.
11. After doing this race, I always feel even more proud to be an American!

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