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Plans for 2020 Air Force Marathon have already begun

Wheeled race competitors take off from the start line at the Air Force Marathon on Sept. 21 at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director plans to incorporate more inclusivity for athletes with disabilities at future marathons. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michelle Gigante)

Wheeled race competitors take off from the start line at the Air Force Marathon on Sept. 21 at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director plans to incorporate more inclusivity for athletes with disabilities at future marathons. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michelle Gigante)

Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director, congratulates the full marathon female winner Ann Alyanak from Bellbrook, Ohio, at the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on Sept. 21. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ty Greenlees)

Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director, congratulates the full marathon female winner Ann Alyanak from Bellbrook, Ohio, at the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on Sept. 21. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ty Greenlees)

Fireworks go off at the start off the Air Force Marathon held on Sept. 21 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Fireworks at the start line was added to this year’s marathon to add more excitement and entertainment to the race. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Fireworks go off at the start off the Air Force Marathon held on Sept. 21 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Fireworks at the start line was added to this year’s marathon to add more excitement and entertainment to the race. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

The Blue Mile was added to this year’s Air Force Marathon on Sept. 21. Wear blue: run to remember, a nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of military members, set up a mile long memorial with American flags and photographs to honor the fallen. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

The Blue Mile was added to this year’s Air Force Marathon on Sept. 21. Wear blue: run to remember, a nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of military members, set up a mile long memorial with American flags and photographs to honor the fallen. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Another successful Air Force Marathon with over 12,700 runners has come to an end and the marathon staff are already hard at work preparing for next year’s race. 

“Producing the marathon is like a big party celebrating someone’s journey,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. “It’s like planning a party except there are about 15,000 runners and spectators coming. You can’t just run to the grocery store to buy food and drinks so there are contracts to be done to purchase these items. And you can’t mail out invitations so it takes a marketing plan to reach thousands of people to get them to attend. There are just so many moving parts in planning the marathon.”

Hough said the first action they take is preparing the website for the marathon registration process so when it goes live on Jan. 1 each year, the site runs smoothly for the runners when they register.   

From approximately January to May, staff members tag team and attend various marathon expos and races across the country to advertise and recruit runners to participate in the next year’s marathon.

Now into July, Hough said the foundation of the marathon is set and final details are being wrapped up. They are finalizing contracts, medical plans and tying the knot on open ends with vendors and sponsors.

Although this year was Hough’s second marathon in the role as director, for last year’s race he had come on board a couple months prior so this was the first year he was able to make changes that fit into his vision of what he sees for future marathons.

Having that full helm of the event this year, he also incorporated several changes based on runner feedback.

“Based on the feedback from runners, we made several changes,” Hough said. “We made a significant overhaul of the courses, added a kids 1k race and added much more entertainment and displays throughout the course include fireworks at the start of the race. It was a new experience for all the runners this year including the ones who have ran in the past.”

Next year, Hough plans to continue to make more improvements to the marathon and will announce those changes in the months to come. One improvement Hough did share is his commitment to make the Air Force Marathon become more inclusive for athletes with disabilities and is working on ways to incorporate their participation.

The 2020 Air Force Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The Sports & Fitness expo is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17, and Friday, Sept. 18. For more information about the Air Force Marathon go to www.usafmarathon.com.