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Schriever Airmen run AF Marathon

Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Emerson, 50th Space Wing executive assistant to the command chief, shows off her medal after completing the Air Force half marathon Sept. 19, 2015, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Emerson finished with a time of 2:35:45. (Courtesy photo)

Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Emerson, 50th Space Wing executive assistant to the command chief, shows off her medal after completing the Air Force half marathon Sept. 19, 2015, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Emerson finished with a time of 2:35:45. (Courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Two 50th Space Wing Airmen travelled to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to compete in this year's Air Force Marathon, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.

Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Emerson, 50 SW executive assistant to the command chief, and Staff Sgt. Cody Ott 50th Civil Engineer Squadron locksmith, represented Schriever Air Force Base and ran in support of the Air Force Enlisted Village, together raising more than $1,000 for the charity.

"There were 100 bibs Air Force-wide that went to this specific charity," said Emerson. "We ended up having a team of 79 from all over the Air Force for the [Air Force Enlisted Village]."

AFEV is a nonprofit organization whose core mission is to provide a safe, secure home for surviving spouses of deceased, retired enlisted U.S. Airmen.

"Anyone can run the AF marathon, even if you don't run for a charity," said Emerson.

This year, 15,000 runners from all 50 states and multiple foreign countries came together to take part in the race.

"Wright-Patterson does a great job of bringing the community together whenever they have the marathon," said Ott. "The whole town comes together for the marathon so it is really well supported."

According to www.usafmarathon.com, it takes roughly 2,500 volunteers each year to make the event a success.

"It was a great experience and there was so much camaraderie," said Emerson. "The people were most memorable, and they were so excited just to watch and cheer you on."

Both Emerson and Ott said they would encourage others to consider running the Air Force Marathon in the future.

"The Air Force Marathon is a permissive temporary duty," said Ott. "You get to see the Air Force Museum, and it's a big part of our history, so it is definitely worth your time."

The main race is the marathon; however, Wright-Patterson also offers a half marathon, a 10K and a 5K race.

Ott ran the full marathon with a time of 4:32:05, and Emerson ran the half marathon with a time of 2:35:46.

"I actually had a really bad race," said Ott. "I usually shoot for less than four hours. I fell apart around mile 15 or 16, so it wasn't my greatest day, but it was still an enjoyable race."

Although each fell short of their personal goals, each said they felt a sense of accomplishment by completing the race and raising money for their charity.

"Sometimes you may fail," said Emerson. "When you have a bad run - it is important not to quit because during your next run you can impress yourself when you run a mile longer than the one you couldn't complete before."

The two offered advice to those who may want to start running or training for long distance races.

"Anyone can run -- it's not as difficult as it sounds," said Ott. "Just put the time in and run to get the miles. Find a training plan and stick to it."

Schriever Air Force Base's Fitness Center offers training plans and running advice on their webpage: www.schriever.af.mil/services/fitnesscenter.asp.

"Make sure to do the training portion so you can be prepared to do the run, that is the hardest thing," said Emerson. "You just have to keep pushing [yourself] and never give up."

For more information on the Air Force Marathon, visit www.usafmarathon.com.
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