2023 Air Force Marathon weekend: What you need to know

  • Published
  • By Matthew Fink
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The 2023 Air Force Marathon weekend, which encompasses not only the titular 26.2-mile race but also a half marathon, 10K, 5K, 1K and various festivities open to the public, is set to take place at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and Wright State University’s Nutter Center from Sept. 14-16.  

“This is everything our staff has been working toward for 13 months,” said Jill Huffman, Air Force Marathon assistant director. “The marathon is in a unique position to showcase the Air Force, Wright-Patt and the museum all at the same time. We are exceptionally excited!”

First held in 1997 to commemorate the Air Force’s 50th anniversary, the marathon has grown into a showcase event for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Dayton community. There are 8,500 runners from all 50 states and over 15 countries around the world participating this year.  

With the exception of the 1K, all race participants will receive a finisher’s medal with the marathon’s three featured aircraft – the MH-139 Grey Wolf, UH-1N Huey and HH-60W Jolly Green II – as well as a downloadable online certificate.

Online race registrations end Sept. 13 and can be found here.

Schedule of events

Thursday, Sept. 14

  • Health & Fitness Expo – 3 to 7 p.m. Held at Wright State University’s Nutter Center, this event is free to the public and does not require registration. The expo will feature more than 100 exhibitors showing off the latest developments in health, fitness and nutrition. It’s also where all competitors will pick up their race bibs with a photo ID and bib number. Minors are not required to present a photo ID. Bibs must be picked up at this location unless participant pre-ordered “race day packet pickup” with their registration.   

Friday, Sept. 15

  • Health & Fitness Expo – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A continuation of the previous day’s expo with the addition of a yoga class from 1-2 p.m. in Berry Room 1 and 2. 
  • Gourmet Pasta Dinner – 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Held at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, dinner tickets are $30 and open to the public. Attendees are required to create a Race Roster account. Children up to age 5 eat free but must be registered. Participants can tour the museum and speak with knowledgeable volunteers, who will be on hand to answer questions. Retired Lt. Col. Brian L. Slade, a veteran, author and advocate for those with post-traumatic stress disorder, will be the guest speaker upon commencement of the formal program at 6 p.m.
  • Tailwind Trot 1K Kids Run – 6 p.m. Taking place immediately prior to the 5K just outside the Nutter Center, this race is for children ages 4-12 who would also like to participate in the weekend’s festivities. Parents/guardians can participate but must register separately. Strollers are welcome. All finishers will receive a dog tag and finish line refreshments.
  • 5K race – 6:30 p.m. Begins and ends at the Nutter Center, with the course winding through the Wright State University campus. Awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers in the overall, military and wheeled categories. 

Saturday, Sept. 16

  • 10K race – 6:30 a.m. Beginning and ending at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, this course runs through the base’s Area B and past the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Institute of Technology. Awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers in the overall and military categories. 
  • Marathon and half marathon – 7:30 a.m. These courses take runners on a journey through Wright-Patt’s rich aviation history in Area A, Area B and the city of Fairborn. The full marathon is a Boston Marathon-qualifying event. Awards for both races will be presented to the top three male and female finishers in the overall and military categories, with the wheeled category addition for the marathon only. 
  • Finish Line Festival – noon to 3:30 p.m.  New this year, the festival will officially begin once the first runner crosses the finish line at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and feature food, drinks and live music. At 1 p.m., the Air Force Marathon Office will make a special announcement. 

Air Force Marathon app

The Air Force Marathon app can be used by competitors and spectators to track race progression for the full and half marathons. The app is free and works on Apple and Android devices, including phones, laptops and tablets.

It offers text, social media or email notifications when runners pass designated waypoints on the course, provides anticipated finish times and gives any event updates that may occur on race day.

“Our app allows families and friends to reconnect at the finish line without having to wait around and guess an arrival time,” Huffman said. “It also provides peace of mind. If weather quickly turns or a course diversion needs to happen, quick notification will keep everyone prepared.” 

Runners can review their race results on the app by scanning the QR code on their bib or entering the bib number. As an option, they can set up a profile on the app to access course maps, race leaders and other miscellaneous information. 

For more information regarding the Air Force Marathon, email usaf.marathon@us.af.mil or visit www.usafmarathon.com.