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NEWS | Sept. 16, 2011

Randolph to run rampant at Air Force marathon

By Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert

After training for months, five of Randolph's runners are finally setting out to compete in the 15th annual Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, this weekend.

Each year's events are held the third Saturday in September in celebration of the Air Force birthday.

All levels of runners from around the world compete in the marathon, wheelchair race, half-marathon, 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer races and, according to, the official Air Force Marathon website, the races are growing every year, with more than 12,000 participants in 2010. All races for this year are already filled.

Alfred Pena Jr., Air Education and Training Command capabilities and integration information technology strategic planner, will be the only full-marathon runner from Randolph; however, Debbie Landry, Air Force Personnel Center Airman Assignments Division chief, Joshua Cates, F-15E electronics weapons assignment officer fighter porch chief, and David Fain, AETC Fire and Emergency Services functional manager, will be running the half-marathon. Yasheda Lyons, Air Force Recruiting Service program management operations NCO in charge, will be representing Randolph in the 10-kilometer competition.

A base-wide email was sent out with an application to sign up to represent Randolph at the marathon, Rikk Prado, 902nd Force Support Squadron sports manager, said. Once applications were turned in, a small panel picked those who would be on the team.

Typically, AETC sponsors a team, picking the best runners from all its bases; however, they did not chose a team this year, so 902nd FSS was able to send a team to Ohio to compete as well as provide matching warm-ups, he said.

With the Randolph runners competing in different distances, they have been training individually, Cates said.

"Setting a goal - giving you something to train for - keeps you motivated," he said. "It's something to get me out of bed in the morning and running."

The runners left San Antonio Thursday to be ready for the weekend's events.

Looking ahead to the competition, Landry expressed her optimism, but she was happy just to participate.

"We all get medals if we finish," she said. "It's just about getting out there and being a part of it."