First in Flight

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What does Valentine’s Day have to do with this On the Move entry? A lot. Today the day the Air Force Marathon staff can finally reveal the featured aircraft for the 2024 race. This year’s selection has truly been a love affair. We’ve had one ‘not ready’, a breakup, and finally THE ONE.

How it started.

Several years ago, a list of aircraft was approved, making our reveals happen at the post-race party. Participants were able to see what the patches would look like and have a full year to be excited with us. This year, the first aircraft we had chosen was still in production and not ready for flyover on race day. I am assuming you can relate to not being ready for a yearlong commitment whether in life or love. Strike one.

Are you the one?

The second aircraft we chose was quite popular, but the spark just wasn’t there. You know the drill. At times, you want to fight for this to work but can see the writing on the wall. It’s a valiant effort on both sides but one of you must choose to go a different direction. Strike two.

Check Yes or No.

Finally, a few ideas are tossed around, a little like swiping left or right, and you throw caution to the wind and say THIS ONE. You know the choice is good, but the courtship is going to take a lot of extra effort. There are forms to fill out, your friends (or leadership) must approve of the match. And then you need to make sure this option is available for the coveted flyover…the GRAND GESTURE.

Coming in for landing.

Friends, I am so happy to tell you we are bringing the F35 Lightning II to the Marathon this year! You’ll see this beautiful fighter plane on your medal, patch, shirt, etc. You’ll be treated to an amazing flyover (weather permitting) before the start of the 0730 events. This has truly been a match created for the ages. Let’s enjoy the journey and see where it takes us: new goals, new dreams, a proposal or two at the finish line. Time will tell.

Now, lace up and get moving. We’ve got a race to run.