Air Force Marathon welcomes new race director
By John Harrington , 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 10, 2018
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base leadership welcomed Brandon Hough as the new Air Force Marathon race director May 10.
Hough comes to the Air Force Marathon with extensive experience in event, contract and project management. He previously led operations for more than 20 athletic events annually involving over 150,000 participants, notably among them the Long Beach Special Olympics World Games and multiple marathons on Catalina Island.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity to be able to lead a race that I really deeply love and have been a part of for the last six years, to work with the community here locally and to work with the base to produce the Air Force’s premiere running event,” said Hough, a 2011 Air Force Academy graduate.
Hough’s first experience with the Air Force Marathon was in 2012 as a participant while pursuing his Masters of Education in Sports Administration at Xavier University and serving at Wright-Patt as a lieutenant in contracting. It was then that Hough met Rob Aguiar, the former Air Force Marathon race director, who Hough credits as being his mentor as Hough began pursuing event production. From there, Hough ran in various events in the Air Force Marathon in 2013, 2016 and 2017, while also volunteering for the event. Hough then left the service, became a certified race director, served as the director of operations of a sports management firm and launched his own running company.
Hough said that after he opened up his own company, he couldn’t see himself working for anyone again. That was until the Air Force Marathon’s race director position opened earlier this year.
“When I look back at when I started down the path five years ago, recognizing that I wanted to move into the event space and see how it has taken me full circle and brought me back to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as the race director for the Air Force Marathon, it’s incredibly humbling,” Hough said. “But, it’s equally as exciting to be able to come lead this race that I was once just a participant in and then to now have the opportunity to work with the base and the community to produce an event that we’re all proud of.”
Hough says that the community is a large part of what makes the Air Force Marathon a great event.
“I think it’s incredible. When you sit down and think about it and you realize that we need 2,400 volunteers from the community to come out and support this event and we’re able to get that number, that shows extreme buy-in from our community partners,” Hough said. “A lot of events typically only need fifty to a hundred volunteers and that can be daunting at times to get. So, the fact that we’re able to get 2,400 is amazing and it says a lot about how people feel about our race and its impact on this community.”
Hough, who runs in about 10 events a year himself, said he’s focused on making the Air Force Marathon the best possible experience for participants. Noting the event’s humble beginnings in 1997, Hough says that while growth is good, it’s the distinctiveness of the Air Force Marathon that makes it a race people love.
“Most people don’t have the opportunity to go onto an active-duty military installation, let alone see numerous static planes that cover the whole history of the U.S. Air Force,” said Hough. “To see some of the historic buildings that Wright-Patterson offers and to see how the Department of Defense really impacts our country; it’s a very unique experience.”
An experience made even more special with the addition of the Fly-Fight-Win Challenge where runners compete in three events to obtain an exclusive fourth medal.
“I think the Fly-Fight-Win Challenge is an awesome opportunity for runners to involve themselves with our event,” Hough said. “To be able to experience the 5K at Wright State, come back Saturday and do a 10K in under sixty minutes and then turn around and go right back into a half marathon is a great way to encourage runners to push themselves.”
The Air Force Marathon, presented by Northrop Grumman, USAA and Boeing, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. The Sports & Fitness Expo is held at Wright State University’s Nutter Center and scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, and Friday, Sept. 14. The event will also feature a Gourmet Pasta Dinner and Breakfast of Champions scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14. For more information about the race, go to www.usafmarathon.com.