Why not the Air Force Marathon in 2012?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Chad Welch
  • 932nd AES, First Sergeant

In 2011, I set a personal goal of attending and completing the Air Force Half Marathon which is held each year in September at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. At the time, 13.1 miles seemed like something that was totally out of reach. I had signed up for my first 5K in January of 2011 to start the process. Up to that point, I was you basic Air Force runner which meant 1.5 miles and done. I certainly never considered doing any kind of distance running and did not particularly enjoy running.

After doing some basic training and completing my first 5K, I got hooked. The benefits of running are numerous. For the everyday Air Force reservist, I offer this as an incentive: You will never have to worry about that PT test again if you take up the runner's lifestyle. I offer you a few tips to get going:

Shoes- It is important to get fitted professionally for that first pair of distance shoes. Once you are comfortable and know your size, you can get then get them on your own. Many running shops offer this service.

Training- There is some great training programs out there. I used a free training program on the Web to ensure I was on track. You can find great plans from a 5K to the full marathon on several websites.

Pace- Start slow. Don't feel like you have to maintain a 6 or 7 minute mile. You may start off at a 10 or 11 minute mile on your long runs. The main thing is completion!
Motivation- Remember that it is well known that your internal motivation may not start until you are in action. Do not wait until you feel like it. Just get out there and start moving.

In September of 2011, I completed the Air Force Half Marathon in just under two hours. It was a very proud moment. At the time, I said I was not ever interested in completing the full marathon. Alas, I got the bug again and have registered for the full marathon this September. Please consider meeting me on the course for a true life changing experience!