AF Marathon participation down; race seeks answers

Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 8:16 AM
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 9:33 AM


            Brian Kelly, a major in the Air Force based out of California, won the U.S. Air Force Marathon with a time of 2 hours and 40 minutes. NICK DUDUKOVICH / CONTRIBUTED
Brian Kelly, a major in the Air Force based out of California, won the U.S. Air Force Marathon with a time of 2 hours and 40 minutes. NICK DUDUKOVICH / CONTRIBUTED

Faced with fewer people running this year, Air Force Marathon organizers may consider changes to the series of races to push up numbers on the starting line in 2018.

The marathon, a series of races with 5K and 10K contests and half- and full-marathons, may add a new race of a shorter distance, and increase opportunities to participate in more than one event, according to marathon director Rob Aguiar.

The marathon counted 13,679 runners for the races on Sept.15-16 versus more than 15,000 who competed every year since 2012 — reaching a peak of 15,424 runners in 2013, figures show. The last time the race did not sell out was 2009 when the event had a cap of 10,000 runners and fell a few dozen under that total.

Organizers will listen to what runners say they want before deciding what to do, he said.

“We don’t want to make change just for changes sake,” he said.

RELATED: Thousands to run in Air Force Marathon

The 5K and 10K races sold out this year, but the numbers for the half- and full-marathons were below previous years, according to attendance figures. The half marathon brought in just over 5,200 out of a target of 6,500; the full marathon attracted about 2,100 out of a goal of 2,500, according to race figures.

Still, the race brought competitors from all 50 states and 14 countries to the Miami Valley event, Aguiar said. The marathon has raised caps on the number of runners by thousands since the first race attracted 2,751 participants in 1997.

And it’s big business for the region. The race had an estimated $13.7 million economic impact on tourism and travel-related spending in 2016, according to the Greene County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Figures for this year’s marathon weren’t yet calculated.

A ‘saturation’ of races

Race industry observers say the U.S. market has reached “saturation” with a sharp uptick in the number of races while the number of runners crossing the finish line has dropped nationwide.

“This is not just an Air Force Marathon issue,” Aguiar said. “It is a racing industry issue. There’s a lot of races out there.”

The industry had 30,400 races in the United States last year versus 26,370 in 2012, according to Running USA statistics. More than half the contests in 2016 were 5K competitions.

The number of finishers climbed exponentially —- from five million in 1990 to a peak of 19 million in 2013. Since then, it’s fallen to just under 17 million, Running USA reported.

RELATED: FIve things to know about the Air Force Marathon

The explosion in the number of races has been pushed mostly by 5K contests with themes, such as costumes, bubble, or foam races, holiday and charity runs, among newcomers, according to Running USA Chief Executive Officer Rich Harshbarger.

“They’re more celebration and more social than they are competitive,” he said. “People started coming up with crazy ideas.

”The real question is what’s the longevity of some of those and I think a lot of them are running their course, so to speak,” he added.

The popularity of mud and cross-fit competitions have waded into the scene, too, he said.

“There’s a lot of things vying for people’s recreation time and particularly when you’re looking at the millennial generation they’re looking for something with a little bit more edge than a straightforward run,” Harshbarger said.

RELATED: Stealth fighter, WWII plane to fly over Air Force Marathon

On weekends in the southwest Ohio region, runners have found a bevy of races to choose.

“People want to try all kinds of different things and when they have more choices they are more choosy about what they participate in,” said Doug Picard, 37, who has run in each of the Air Force Marathon’s four contests since 2014.

Surveying for answers

The marathon will survey runners in the coming weeks, listen to feedback gathered elsewhere such as social media and email, and explore how races across the country engage runners, Aguiar said.

“We’re all looking at that making sure … any changes that we do that it’s always a positive experience for the runner,” Aguiar said.

RELATED: Thousands turn out for Air Force Marathon, winners announced

Racers input led to the addition of a 10K race and dropping a relay marathon nearly a decade ago, he said.

Picard, a member of the Ohio River Road Runners Club in Dayton, has competed in 100 contests. Races retain runners with different strategies, such as recognizing people who compete in more than one race at an event, or give out a piece of a racing medal every year until its complete, he said.

“It keeps people coming back year after year,” he said.

Harshbarger had this advice: “I think the best thing they can do is stay true to their brand and continue to offer an extraordinary experience,” he said. “As long as you highlight what’s uniquely yours and build on that to appeal to people, that’s better than any sort of gimmick or one-time trick. They are an established event.”

At the finish line

The number of races in the United States has climbed for years even as the number of runners reaching the finish line has dropped in recent years. The number of runners dropped from 19 million in 2013 to just under 17 million last year, the fourth largest in history, according to Running USA

Number of races

2016 - 30,400

2015 - 30,300

2014 - 28,000

2013 - 28,200

2012 - 26,370

SOURCE: RUNNING USA

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Police: Miami Twp. officer hit on SB I-75 ‘awake but very sore’

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 9:47 PM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 12:20 AM

A crash involving a police officer on Southbound I-75 in Miami Township closed the interstate late Saturday, April 21, 2018.

UPDATE @ 12:20 a.m. (April 22)

The driver of a white pickup truck that struck a Miami Twp. officer is suspected of driving while impaired, said Sgt. Frank Edward Simmons Jr. of the Dayton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Traffic is moving on the southbound lanes of Interstate 75, and is expected to be totally reopened within the next hour.

UPDATE @ 11:15 p.m.

The Miami Twp. police officer who was struck by a pickup truck while outside his cruiser tonight most likely will be staying the night at Kettering Medical Center, police said.

A police source at the hospital said the officer, who was not named, “is awake but very sore.”

Southbound I-75 remains shut down at Ohio 725, and the backup at one point extended to the Dryden Road exit in Moraine.

It is unclear how much longer the highway will remain closed, or when one lane will be opened to traffic, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Dayton Post.

UPDATE @ 10:25 p.m.

A Miami Twp. police officer was struck by a truck tonight while outside of his cruiser at a crash scene.

All southbound I-75 lanes are shut down just before the Ohio 725 exit.

The officer, whose name and condition was not immediately available, was taken from the scene to Kettering Medical Center.

There was a series of three crashes tonight on the highway, the last involving the officer, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center:

At 9:20 p.m., a red sedan hit a pole, then at 9:22 p.m. a blue Subaru Forester crashed in the same area of near the Ohio 725 exit.

At 9:29 p.m. the officer who responded to the first crashes was struck by an early 1990s Chevrolet truck, gray or silver. Troopers were with the truck at the 44 mile marker.

All three crashes remain under investigation.

(OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION)
Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Regular exercise can prevent older adults from falling, study says

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 11:03 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)(Warren Little/Getty Images)

Falls and fractures among older adults can lead to long-term disabilities. However, doctors have now found a simple solution to avoid accidents: regular exercise. 

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recently conducted a review, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, to determine the best practices to avoid falls among people age 65 and older. 

To do so, they examined data from about 20 studies that gathered the health records of older adults, some of who were at high risk for falling. They also evaluated evidence on vitamin D supplementation, which has been linked to a reduced risk of decreased bone density.

After analyzing the data, they found that exercise decreased the likelihood of falls and injuries related to falls. In fact, they discovered there was a 10 to 20 percent reduced risk. 

“It’s abundant evidence,” said Madeleine Hackney, geriatrics professor at Emory University, who was not a part of the trial. “As we get older, we lose muscle mass. The way to get stronger is to strengthen them on a regular basis.”

The researchers listed several types of exercises that are beneficial for older adults, including cardio, resistance training and even tai-chi.

However, they said vitamin D may not be as effective in preventing fractures. They recommend against vitamin D supplementation to limit falls among adults 65 and older, because they did not see a consistent benefit. Those with a vitamin D deficiency are an exception. 

“Pooled analyses showed neither a significant reduction in falls nor a significant effect on the number of persons experiencing a fall with vitamin D supplementation,” the authors wrote.

Hackney called those findings “interesting.” 

“That’s going in the face of common practice. Doctors are prescribing it, but the evidence is not backing it up,” she said. 

Despite the results, Hackney said there are several different approaches to strengthening the body.

“The most important thing is that they find something they like to do where they can be nurtured and supported,” she advised. “If you do it regularly, you body will note.”

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Quiet Sunday, rain returns next week

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 6:38 AM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 2:00 PM

A dry day is expected Sunday in the Dayton area, with rain returning on Monday.

Partly cloudy skies are expected overnight as temperatures drop to near 40 degrees, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. Because of the few clouds sticking around, it may be difficult to see the Lyrid Meteor Shower overnight and early Sunday, but with a few breaks you may be able to see some.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Clouds may keep us from seeing Lyrid Meteor Shower tonight
  • A quiet day Sunday 
  • Chance for rain Monday-Wednesday 

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Sunday: We’ll see a little bit more sunshine, but once again passing clouds and filtered sun is expected. Highs will be in the middle 60s.

Monday: A dry start is expected, but rain is expected to move in later in the afternoon and the evening. Highs will be in the middle 60s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Tuesday: A few scattered showers are expected. It won’t be a wash-out, but you’ll want to keep the umbrella handy. Highs will be in the upper 50s.

>> County-by-County Weather

Wednesday: A few lingering showers are expected for the first part of the day. Highs will be near 60 degrees.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Thursday: It should be a dry day with partly sunny skies and highs near 60 degrees.

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Man intentionally ran mother, 80, off road, deputies say

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 10:24 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A man intentionally ran his 80-year-old mother off the road Thursday as she was trying to drive to the sheriff’s office to get help, investigators said. 

>> Read more trending news

Roger Wayne Lincoln, 58, crashed into his mother’s car around 6 p.m. He was driving in a red 1999 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am as she was driving to the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, according to KTVB.

The mother, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital for treatment. 

"Our belief is they had some kind of incident at the house and we believe he didn't allow her to call 911 at that time, according to the information we have, and she was leaving the residence to get help,” Payette County Sheriff's Lt. Andy Creech told the Idaho Press.

Lincoln is wanted on charges of aggravated battery, intimidating a witness, leaving the scene of an injury collusion and intentional destruction of a telecommunication line or instrument, according to KTVB.

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