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By Senior Airman Rose Gudex, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 14, 2016
Four Airmen from the 21st Space Wing were selected to compete as part of the Air Force Space Command Challenge Team in the Air Force Marathon at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on Sept. 17.
The Airmen selected include Ch. (Capt.) Josh Flynn, 21st Space Wing chaplain, competing in the full marathon; Capt. Andrew Layman, 6th Space Warning Squadron operations training flight deputy commander; 1st Lt. Brendan Morin, 16th Space Control Squadron chief of training; and Maj. Maureen Kimsey, 21st Medical Operations Squadron, competing in the half-marathon.
The Air Force Marathon began in 1997 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Air Force. The event draws runners from around the world to compete in the full marathon, wheelchair, half marathon, 10k and 5k races.
Each major command challenge team consists of 10 people – four full marathoners and six half marathoners. To qualify for the team, Airmen interested must submit a package with information detailing past race performance, they also need supervisor and commander approval, said Morin.
“First and foremost, you have to be crazy enough to want to run 26.2 miles,” said Flynn.
Runners trained hard to even be chosen for the AFSPC Challenge Team and will continue to prepare for the next few months. Training plans vary between runners, but the dedication is the same.
“I’ve built my base mileage to running 40 miles per week and I will begin a 12-week training plan at the end of June that will peak at around 55 miles per week,” said Layman.
For the 21st SW personnel, many know someone who competed in the past and wanted to step up to the challenge themselves. Morin said it’s the perfect opportunity to challenge himself at a “highly competitive, Air Force-wide event.”
“The event has become an annual tradition, and the marathon is the pinnacle of endurance running accomplishments,” he said.
In addition, Layman said local races may have military competitors in attendance, however going to an event dedicated to the military and competing against thousands of fellow service members is an honor.
“I was honored to be given the opportunity to run, not just for myself, but for (Air Force Space Command) at such a huge event,” he said.
The honor and pride of competing for the major command at an event with global participation is astronomical and the 21st SW couldn’t be more proud, said Col. Troy Endicott, 21st Operations Group commander.
“We’re especially proud to see our Knights represent us at the Air Force Marathon,” he said. “They’re winners even now before competing and it will be exciting to see them cross the finish line.”