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.

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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


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Amazon glitch: Here's how to get on the Amazon Prime sale

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:46 PM

Amazon Prime Day is Monday, July 16 and it might be tempting to grab back to school deals. Consumer adviser Clark Howard said don't spend money you don't have to.

Amazon’s website suffered a glitch at the beginning of its much-hyped Prime Day sale.

Here is a workaround that will allow you to get to the Prime Day Deals.

1. Click onto the Prime Day link on Amazon.

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2. Go to the filter area at the top of the  page next to the words “Amazon Prime,” and click on “Prime Day” instead of “All.”

FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, packages ride on a conveyor system at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. Amazon's Prime Day starts July 16, 2018, and will be six hours longer than last year's and will launch new products.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

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Woman vows to sue nephew over $1.2 million lottery prize

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 2:59 PM

A woman is suing her nephew after putting his name on a lottery ticket for good luck. (Photo: Margaree Chase the Ace/Facebook)
A woman is suing her nephew after putting his name on a lottery ticket for good luck. (Photo: Margaree Chase the Ace/Facebook)

A lottery jackpot check presentation turned into a family feud when the woman who put her nephew’s name on the winning ticket refused to split the prize and vowed to sue for the remaining portion. 

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Barbara Reddick gave her nephew Tyrone MacInnes $100 to buy tickets for Chase the Ace, a lottery with a jackpot that had reached $1.2 million, and told him to put his name on the ticket as well, for good luck, the CBC reported she said.

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“He’s always lucky with his draws, right?” Reddick, of Guysborough, Nova Scotia, told The Province. “I said ‘Well, put your name on the ticket and you’ll be my good luck charm.’ I didn’t say split. I never mentioned money at all.”

When their card was picked, it was Tyrone, who lives in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, whose contact information was on the ticket, who was called, according to the CBC. They found out they won and Tyrone wanted half, she told The Province

“I would have given him $150,000,” she said. “Listen, Tyrone was the son that I never had. Me and Tyrone -- ask anybody -- we’re very very close … . Tyrone is getting nothing from me. It’s just for the principle. We were so close. He broke my heart. He broke it. … People go crazy when it comes to money.”

At a check-presentation ceremony Thursday, Reddick was visibly distraught and as the cameras clicked, she quickly told her nephew that she would see him in court. 

"I'm taking him to court. I'm getting a lawyer tomorrow,” she told the CBC.

Lottery officials were dismayed with the way the presentation devolved.

"I can't really explain it. I didn't expect anything like that to happen. I just came to deliver the checks and present them to the winners,” Bernice Curley, chair of the Chase the Ace lottery, told the CBC. “I'm a little bit disappointed that happened at the end."

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Suspect in custody for Miller Lane restaurant break-in

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 8:40 AM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:24 PM

SCENES: Break-in at Amar India Restaurant on Miller Lane

UPDATE @ 3:15 p.m.:

A suspect is in custody for a break-in at Amar India on Miller Lane, according to a press release from the Butler Township Police Department.

Mark A. Lairmore, 49, of Dayton, was taken into custody after a Vandalia police officer noticed him walking on North Dixie Drive on Monday, according to the release.

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Boy, 6, pulled from Dayton pool has died

The officer reportedly noted that Lairmore matched the suspect’s description and stopped him.

When Butler Township police responded, they were able to identify Lairmore as the suspect from the break-in, read the release.

Lairmore reportedly had stolen property from the break-in on him. 

Victim in Springfield homicide identified

The case will be presented to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office for charges, according to the release.

Officers from Vandalia and Huber Heights police department assisted Butler Township police in the search.


A break-in at Amar India on Miller Lane is under investigation this morning.

The incident was reported at the business, 7070 Miller Lane, sometime before 8:30 a.m.



According to investigators, they are looking for a man in connection to the case.

The front door of the business was busted out when police arrived this morning.

We’re working to learn whether anything was taken from the business.

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U.S. government opens investigation into Good Samaritan Hospital closure

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:59 PM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:59 PM

            Premier Health has announced that Good Samaritan Hospital will close. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
            Ty Greenlees
Premier Health has announced that Good Samaritan Hospital will close. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

The federal government has opened an investigation into whether the closure of Good Samaritan Hospital will have a disparate impact on African American residents, according to the legal team of the clergy who filed the civil rights complaint.

The Good Samaritan Hospital emergency room at 2222 Philadelphia Drive is set to close noon Thursday and the final close date is 12:01 a.m. July 23. The group of clergy, which have organized as Clergy Community Coalition, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights in May arguing that the closure will “have a discriminatory and separate adverse impact on African Americans and women” in violation of the Civil Rights Act and under the Affordable Care Act.

The Dayton-area residents for whom Good Samaritan is the closest hospital are 75 percent African American, according to the complaint. The total population of the counties Premier Health serves is 12.5 percent African American. At a Monday press conference, Ellis Jacobs, an attorney for Advocates for Legal Equality, which represents the clergy, said closing the facility will create a “health care desert.”

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RELATED: Good Samaritan to close doors for last time

As of press time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services had not confirmed the status of the investigation. Jacobs said HHS expedited the investigation after Premier Health went from saying it would close no later than Aug. 29 to having a final July 23 closing date.

The clergy are asking Premier to keep Good Samaritan open for the duration of the federal investigation. Premier has already closed down several of the major medical units at the hospital.

“Premier, will you be a good citizen and commit to not closing, demolishing or disabling Good Samaritan Hospital until this investigation and any other legal action is complete? They should be prepared to answer that question today,” Jacobs said.

Premier Health Spokesman Ben Sutherly said the Good Samaritan emergency department is still scheduled to close at noon Thursday, and the hospital is scheduled to close at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The network can’t comment on the complaint, he said.

Premier has previously said the hospital is operating at half capacity and many of the same services are available five miles away at Miami Valley Hospital.

RELATED: ‘Bad news’ for the city: 7 reactions to Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure

The Clergy Community Coalition still aims to keep the hospital open. Rockney Carter, president of the organization, called the expedition of the investigation a “monumental victory.”

“It’s a wonderful day for the city of Dayton,” Carter said. “It’s a miraculous day for the city of Dayton.”

Expedited investigations are unusual, according to Jacobs, and it isn’t clear how long the investigation will take.

“I asked the investigator and he said, ‘this is so unusual, I can’t tell you how quickly we’ll be able to proceed,’” Jacobs said.

The closure of Good Samaritan hospital will affect West Dayton in several ways, Jacobs said. It will remove a maternity ward from the area with the highest infant mortality rate in Montgomery County, make it more difficult for people in the area with chronic illnesses to see doctors and lengthen rides to emergency rooms.

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