WRIGHT- PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – After a three-year absence due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2022 Air Force Marathon wrapped up an extremely successful event Sept. 17 under the leadership of a new director.


After serving as the office’s deputy, Rachael Ferguson, was named the new Air Force Marathon director a few weeks before race weekend kicked off.


“She was the right leader at the right time for the marathon team,” said Col. Sirena Morris, 88th Mission Support Group commander. “Her exceptional leadership abilities combined with her marathon team rapport not only made the difference but made the event better than ever.”


More than 8,000 runners from around the world participated in this year’s event. Marathon staff recorded almost 200 entries for the Tailwind Trot 1K Kids Run, as well as more than 1,400 for the 5K and 1,600 for the 10K. The weekend drew 83 relay participants, almost 2,700 for the half-marathon and about 1,300 for the full marathon.


“I’m honored at the opportunity to lead the team,” Ferguson said. “I can’t say enough how incredible of a job our staff, Wright-Patt teammates, community partners and all of our volunteers did to make it all come together. Coming out of COVID, it meant a lot to all involved that the marathon was held in person.”


Even with past marathon experience, Ferguson gained a new perspective as director — one that will guide her to expand the event and make it better than before.


“There are literally only a handful of our staff that have actually witnessed the marathon prior to this year’s event,” she said. “Now that we all have seen the marathon in action, our staff is excited to get started for next year’s event. We hope to have even more runners and volunteers to make the marathon bigger than ever.”


Ferguson brought life back to one of the Air Force’s most popular sporting events, while also celebrating the military branch’s rich history and its 75th anniversary with the unveiling of the 2023 Air Force Marathon featured aircraft: the UH-1N Huey, MH-139 Grey Wolf and HH-60W Jolly Green II.


The 2023 Air Force Marathon is scheduled for Sept. 16. The Health & Fitness expo will take place Sept. 14-15. For more information, go to www.usafmarathon.com.