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2015 AF Marathon on the combat frontier

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford
  • 455th AEW/PA
More than 400 U.S. Service members, civilians and Coalition partners woke up before sunrise today to participate in the Air Force Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K here on the combat frontier.

This year marked the seventh year the U.S. AF has sanctioned deployed location races. The races offer deployed Service members the chance to share the experience and camaraderie associated with the AF Marathon.

Having a race here in a combat zone is also a fantastic way to boost morale and help build resiliency.

“Morale and resiliency is important anywhere and especially here,” said Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Johnson, 455th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron volunteer coordinator. “Having this event helps boost the morale by keeping peoples mind off the things that we have to deal with here.”

“To me this race shows that people here care and even though we are deployed they try to make it as familiar as possible for us,” said Staff Sgt. Casey Herron, 455th EFSS. “It’s a great stress relieve in a deployed environment.”

The races also did a great job of building comradery among service branches here.

“It makes you feel that even though you are deployed you are still a part of something that is bigger than yourself,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Tierra Phillips. “Even though I’m in the Army we support each other, we’re all one team one fight. Having events like this is very important. It’s definitely a morale booster for us while deployed.”

“The race ties us to back home and gives us a feeling that we are there participating as well as building comradery it was a great event,” said Capt. Elicia Brown, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Finance Management officer in charge.

Waking up before sunrise isn’t ideal for a lot of people, but for those who made the effort the marathon was rewarding.

“This morning I got up against all the odds and ran the 10K part of the AF Marathon,” said Brown. “It was my first time running the AF marathon…during the run it was tough, but at the end it was well worth it.”

2015 AF Marathon at Bagram Winners are listed below.
-- Men's Full Marathon: Gary Cowan: 2:50:43
-- Women's Full Marathon: Heidi Smith: 4:05:47
-- Men's Half Marathon: Ian Hall: 1:32:54
-- Women's Half Marathon: 2nd Lt. Andrea Park: 1:51:39
-- Men's 10K: Varabole: 40:41
-- Women's 10K: 2nd Lt. Martina Skalova: 42:41