McGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. --
Service members from The I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center helped the Air Force set a new attendance record when they joined 12,000 registered runners for the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Sept. 17-18.
The participation of Col. Brad McRee, project officer; Master Sgt. Jason Wolfe, NCOIC, infrastructure management for the communications focal point section; and Tech. Sgt. John Temple, Wilson Hall operations manager, helped shatter the 2009 record of 9,969 runners.
The 14th annual marathon, which coincided with the Air Force's 63rd birthday, included a full marathon with wheeled division for wheelchair racers, a half-marathon, and a 5K and 10K run.
Of the 12,000 participants, there were representatives from all U.S. military services as well as runners from every state, six nations, and 44 individuals who have run in every Air Force Marathon since its inception in 1997.
Among these noted runners was Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz. Schwartz participated in the 10K run with his wife, Suzie, and later presented finishers' medals and awards to the overall winners.
The TEC members all said they were excited to have been a part of this event.
McRee, who is also the deputy commander of the 245th Civil Engineering Flight (S-Team) for the North Carolina Air National Guard, ran the full marathon on Saturday.
B-52, F-16 and Wright Flyer flyovers; bands playing a variety of music; a course that passed by historical sites both on base and through downtown Fairborn, Ohio; and thousands of cheering fans, including his wife Beth, kept him motivated.
"Running a marathon drains the body and is a mental game, too," said McRee. "You've got to be able to overcome. I really appreciated my wife coming along to encourage me."
Of the 2,418 runners who completed the 26.2 mile marathon, McRee finished in the top 40% with a time of 4:21:42.
McRee said he ran the marathon to celebrate his recent 50th birthday and joked that he wanted to prove, "I'm not getting old after all."
Temple and Wolfe completed the 5K race on Friday.
For Temple, even being able to run at the Air Force marathon was a personal achievement. Following three knee surgeries, which kept him out of work for nearly six months, getting back in shape has been a challenge.
With his friend Wolfe running by his side, they achieved their goal of running the 5K under 30 minutes.
"It was an awesome experience," said Temple. "We started the race together, ran the whole way together, and we crossed the finish line together."
"When we finished, I was on top of the world," said Temple. "The people, the crowds, the excitement...it was amazing."
For a complete listing of race results visit: www.usafmarathon.com.