2021 Air Force Marathon cancelled due to COVID precautions; Race shifts to virtual format

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — COVID-19 concerns have forced organizers for a second straight year to cancel the in-person Air Force Marathon and instead shift to a virtual event, according to a Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesperson.

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The race had been scheduled to be held at the base on Saturday, September 18, however it will transition to a virtual event for the 2021 edition.

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“The decision was made to protect the health and safety of more than 20,000 participants, volunteers and guests,” the base spokesperson said in a media release.

“We have watched, wrestled, and worked continuously over the past few weeks to determine how to best execute the marathon this year,” Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and Installation commander said in the release.

“To ensure the health and safety of all participants due to the continued high transmission rate of COVID-19 within our surrounding communities, we have decided to transition to a virtual event. Although this decision may be discouraging for some, it was made with the best intentions for all,” Miller said.

Several options were considered in place of cancelling the marathon for the second straight year, however marathon organizers said the decision was the best for the overall safety of all participants, the spokesperson said.

“Our team feels the same disappointment everyone is feeling now. There is a bigger picture here and that’s the safety of our participants, volunteers, and spectators and members of the Air Force,” Brandon Hough, Director of the Air Force Marathon said in the release.

“Similar to last year we will have a virtual option and we’d love to have everyone participate. For many of you, running with us virtually was just as powerful as this event is to celebrate the Air Force birthday and honor those who gave all in service to our country,” Hough said.

Those who previously registered for the race will have several options including running virtually, deferring, or requesting a refund, the spokesperson said. Further details will be sent to participants at a later time.

The 2021 race would have been the 25th marathon held at the base that brings over 11,000 runners from across the country and internationally.

Additional details and updates will be available at the Air Force Marathon’s website.