Runners can still run in virtual race after AF marathon cancels due to COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Stacey Geiger
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect the health and safety for over 25,000 participants, volunteers and guests, with the exception of the virtual race, Air Force officials have cancelled the 2020 Air Force Marathon scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19.

“The entire team and our mission and community partners have worked tirelessly for two months to find a way forward to produce the 24th Annual event but have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the event,” said Gen. Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander. “We know this is a challenging time for everyone, and the cancellation will be disappointing news to many.”

This year would have marked the 24th annual event with more than 13,000 runners from all 50 states and many countries participating in this annual event. The Air Force Marathon also offers a 1K kids race, 5K,10K, half marathon along with a with a health and fitness expo.

Marathon officials stated before the decision was made to cancel, many options were explored to continue however it would have been impossible to produce the race experience at the same level runners had been accustom to. 

“We simply cannot execute the marathon in a manner where the safety and security of our runners, volunteers, staff, partners, and spectators is satisfactorily achieved,” explained Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. “However, our team has worked hard to offer numerous options to registered participants to be as accommodating as possible.”

Ironically new to this year’s events, a virtual race was added to allow runners from all over the world to join in from afar. Participants can virtually complete the Air Force Marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, Tailwind Trot or Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge Series race. Runners will run their selected distance between Sept. 1-30. Registration prices are as follows:


Marathon                    $95

Half Marathon            $85

10K                             $45

5K                               $30


Challenge Series         $150


For those participants who are already registered, the Air Force Marathon team has developed three options to choose from. Registered participants are asked to make their selection by June 28.

Virtual Race: Runners will run their selected distance between Sept. 1-30 and once complete, participants will receive their 2020 bib, medal, race shirt and a 20 percent discount to any 2021 Air Force Marathon race.

Gift an Airman: Registration may be gifted to a military member planning to participate in the 2021 Air Force Marathon or half marathon. By selecting this option, participants will also receive a 20 percent discount to any 2021 Air Force Marathon race.

Deferral: Free deferral ($15 deferral fee waived) to any Air Force Marathon race scheduled for 2021, 2022, or 2023.

Participants who registered directly with the Air Force Marathon will be contacted via email with the options and necessary steps to take. Participants who registered through a charity partner are asked to reach out directly to that organization. Participants seeking a refund should contact the Air Force Marathon office directly.

If an option is not selected before the deadline, registrants will automatically be entered into the virtual race. All STARS participants will be honored and maintained regardless of which option is selected.

For more information go the Air Force Marathon website at and follow the Air Force Marathon Facebook page at for the latest updates.