WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE --
If he had any reservations about running in the 2014 Boston Marathon, 1st Lt. Brandon Hough didn't share them. In fact, he said the terrorist attack of 2013 made him even more determined to compete in this year's race.
"This year's marathon was definitely incredible. You could feel it in the air from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. It was palpable," said Hough, who works with Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, contracting, construction branch. "(It was) the excitement of a city reclaiming its historic race and of the runners who were so eager to return this event to one of peace and happiness!"
An avid runner throughout his life, Hough said he had qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2012, when he completed the Columbus Marathon with a time of 2:43:30. He had previously tackled the Boston race in 2008 while a freshman at the Air Force Academy.
"I wanted to run it again and I intended to do so all along when registration opened in September 2013, but my decision was solidified by what took place at Boston last year," he said.
But Hough didn't simply want to run or strike a blow for freedom; he also wanted to do something positive for his fellow man, or, in this case, his fellow girl.
"I decided I wanted to run and support a charity, so I approached the Girl Scouts, and they were more than happy to let me join their team," he explained. "I chose the Girl Scouts because I love that they are accepting of all young women regardless of sexual orientation, race, creed, religion, etc. They simply take young women and give them the tools for success. I thought that was fantastic and wanted to be a part of that."
So, in the process of conquering 26.2 miles, Hough achieved another goal: raising $3,400 for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. In fact, he noted that it is still possible to donate to the Scouts through his fundraiser page at http://www.crowdrise.com/2014GSEMMarathon/fundraiser/brandonhough
. His original goal was $5,000 and he is currently at 69 percent of that figure.
Back home, Hough said the whole experience was a positive one, from start to finish line.
"I had such a wonderful time and was so glad that I was able to raise money for the Girl Scouts," he said. "I intend to do Boston again in 2018 or 2019, but for now I am focusing on training for Ironman Florida, which is in November."