Start All Over Differently

“Sometimes, you just have to start all over differently.” – Bernard Kelvin Clive

These times we face right now in the midst of COVID-19 provide challenges for each person in different ways. As a whole, you have all found unique ways to maneuver these days. Some of you have taken up new hobbies, others have tackled home projects that have been on a to-do list for months, and many have made savored memories with loved ones which otherwise would not have happened.

In terms of the running world, we’ve watched races manage the effects in different ways with postponements to cancellations to stepping up the virtual game. In essence, through all this, we have learned how to start all over differently.

“In essence, through all this, we have learned how to start all over differently.”

Here at the Air Force Marathon, we have used this time to revamp our website, began thinking outside the box in other aspects, and, as you read this, you can see we are re-launching our blog. We want to interact with you in new ways, because changing times means shifting ways we do life. Change is hard for most of us, and this season has forced society to face changing ways of life. That can be hard, but the rainbow appears in the midst of the storm. We hope this re-launch of our blog will encourage you and challenge you that it’s okay to start all over differently.

We are all in different places, learn differently, exercise differently, think differently. Yet, we all have ways we can contribute to one another and help along the way. We run different distances. We run at different paces. We strength train in different ways – weight rooms, TRX, yoga, and other methods. This doesn’t make one runner more important than another. We are all different people.

2019 Air Force 5K

However, we can get caught in ruts at time, causing us to have to “reboot” and start all over differently. The body gets used to one pace, so it needs pushed through hill training or speed workouts around a track. The muscles don’t feel sore, so more weight needs added or attempting a new way to build muscle is necessary. As we all face these changing times, let’s encourage one another in the journey along the way.

“As we all face these changing times, let’s encourage one another in the journey along the way.”

The running industry is facing this time uniquely as well. For the first time ever, Boston Marathon offered refunds and changed the date of their event. Races have gone virtual and runners have found validity in participating, without physically being there. The virtual world of communications has expanded, bonds have been made through stories of overcoming challenges and creating PR’s when no fans were there to cheer or water stations to help hydrate. We are learning about how to start all over differently, even if it may be temporary.

Today, as we all face COVID-19 together, let’s search for the positives in all of this. At the Air Force Marathon, we’ve been restructuring our team and working behind the scenes by continuing to plan our event. In blogs to come, you’ll hear from the team about what each team member does and how each unique trait brings beauty to the execution of the Air Force Marathon. You can find each person’s bio on our website so you can put faces with the pieces of the event you are experiencing. We are excited to bring you more readable tips on running, strength training, rest days, events and our staff perspectives.

We are all in this together. Inevitably, an event like this, forces us all to look inward and think about new steps forward, whatever that might be. For many, it truly does become a time to start all over differently. Life will resume in time, but what that “new normal” looks like will be different. Recognize we are all in different places and respect that, even encourage through it. Readily accept a new beginning, in even the smallest of ways. As Bernard Kelvin Clive said, “Sometimes, you just have to start all over differently.”

“Sometimes, you just have to start all over differently.”

Comment below with how you plan to start all over differently and share this blog post with your friends and family. Use this time to your advantage and well-being, and encourage each person around you to embrace the new.


Written by: Rachael McKinney, Assistant Director

Related Pages:

Meet the Team
News & Announcements


  • Ken Bean

    When I first started my running journey it was alone. This is the 1st time I feel my running comes full circle. This is my tenth and final full marathon. I am 59 years old, will never compete, or win like a true distance runner is capable. The goal is to finish under the time AFM has allotted to qualify as a finisher.

    I choose to compete alone just like in the beginning, in the woods close to my home. I don’t need fanfare or applause. I have signed up for the virtual marathon challenge.

    Failure is not an option, fatigue is just pain in disguise. The pain and soreness means I am still alive. I am grateful the AFM is close to my back yard and allowed me to achieve much more than I ever thought possible.

    The first 1/2 marathon I ever ran was yours in 2012 and it took me two hours and six minutes at 50 years old. I had four photographs attached to my back in ziplock baggies and an Army Serviceman’s flag worn on his uniform in Beirut Lebanon the year his US Marine brothers were killed in the barracks bombing.

    I have run for many reasons. TeamUSO, Brain Tumor Warriors, St. Jude’s Hospital, Chris Hope Foundation, and this year it is Dayton Children’s Hospital where two kids I know have been treated for cancer.

    When my Garmin reads 26.2 in September it will have meant something to me. “Life is precious,” a friend once said to me, and if that watch could speak it would say, “Many thanks to all of you, it is time to go home.”

    The End

    • Sid Busch

      At the age of 74,it’s going to be extremely hard to adapt to this “NEW NORMAL”.
      For me,and I think for many others,one of the best parts of races is the interaction with fellow runners. From the start of the Expo to the end of the Party at the Greene,this interaction is vital.
      Some major events have talked about using the Tokyo method and have Elites only and no spectators.
      I am beginning to hate the word VIRTUAL.
      I pray that by September,I can participate in the AFM events as I have since 2006 and be with my fellow runners closer then 6 feet apart.

      • Thank you for sharing your perspective Sid. Adapting to the new normal will be a challenge for everyone in their own unique ways and it is going to be key to focus on the positive outcomes as best you can. We are keeping a close eye on the situation and hope to provide an update in the near future to all of our dedicated #FlyAFM participants. Hang in there and happy running!

    • Thank you for sharing your story Ken. We look forward to seeing your results for the virtual Fly! Fight! Win! Marathon Challenge Series this September!

  • Scott Routsong

    The USAF Marathon was my very first marathon and it means the world to me to come back each year to run it. The race is well organized and the staff is top-notch. Being born in Dayton, it is a chance to “come home” and have my running soul reinvigorated. I have made so many friends at this race and (for me) it is a very spiritual event. Hyperbole aside, I am a better runner and person as a result of this race. As an Air Force veteran, it also allows me to give back a little. I do hope this race will take place!

    • Hi Scott, thank you for sharing your experience and thank you for your service to this country. The Air Force Marathon means the world to us too and your kind words make us want to continue providing a top-notch event to all of our dedicated #FlyAFM participants – thank you.

  • Russell Crusott

    I ran my first Air Force Half Marathon in 2019. Until then I had been running in Washington DC in the Air Force-Navy five miler. That race was cancelled in 2019. This race was more than adequate. It was great. I am on the fence as to whether to do the half or the 10k. I have had health difficulties so I’m working my way back. I could not do 2 miles a couple months ago. Now I’m over 5. A very slow 5. But still 5. So here is to the unknown…the future. But what is known is it will be a great race.

    • Thanks for giving the Air Force Marathon a chance last year Russell! We are happy to hear you are taking care of yourself and slowly getting back your mileage after having health difficulties. Take it slow and be sure to listen to your body. We look forward to another great race this year – however that may look like.

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