Athletes with Disabilities

The Air Force Marathon recognizes that every choice we make comes with an opportunity to benefit our community and make an impact to those around us. The Air Force Marathon is an inclusive event and welcomes athletes who may have a permanent visual, hearing, physical, or intellectual impairment or disability that affects their ability to participate in long-distance events. All athletes must meet the age, participation, safety, and equipment requirements of the specific race and must be registered for the event they wish to take part in. Athletes with an impairment or disability are encouraged to contact the Air Force Marathon office with any accommodation requests needed prior to registering. The Air Force Marathon will do its best to provide all reasonable accommodations to these athletes.

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  • Includes the blind or those with impaired eyesight.
  • Provisions: allowance of a guide (see below for details).


Athletes with a visual impairment are eligible to have a guide assist them with their race if needed. A complimentary entry will be provided for guides upon request, prior to registration.

  • One guide is allowed per athlete, and they must complete the entire race with the athlete they are supporting. An athlete participating in the marathon event may have up to 2 guides. The athlete may only run alongside or be tethered to one guide at a time. The second guide, if applicable, must interchange with the other guide as needed throughout the race.
  • Athletes are responsible for providing their own guides.
  • Guides are to stay to the right and advise others when passing.
  • Guides are to announce when approaching other athletes.
  • Guides are permitted to be tethered to the participant.
  • Guides must register for the race. Email us at usaf.marathon@us.af.mil for a code to register.


  • Includes the d/Deaf or those with impaired hearing.
  • Provisions: sign language interpreter at the Gourmet Pasta Dinner and at the start of all races.


  • Includes an athlete in a wheelchair.
  • Provisions: elevator at the Health & Fitness Expo at Wright State University Nutter Center, accessible parking at the expo as well as at all official Air Force Marathon race weekend events, push rim and hand crank athletes are provided with a bicycle guide for the marathon event.


  • Wheelchair athletes (push rim or hand crank) are permitted to register for the 5K and/or marathon event. All push rim and hand crank wheeled athletes will start their event 5 minutes prior to the official event start.
  • Lights must be worn on the front and back of the wheelchair.
  • All wheelchair athletes must wear a protective helmet, undamaged and unaltered, which meets or exceeds the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standards. Any wheelchair athlete without a helmet will not be permitted to start the race.
  • The helmet must be properly placed on the head and fastened before the athlete enters the start corral. The helmet must be worn at all times when the athlete is on the course.
  • Any violation of the above helmet requirements will result in disqualification. An athlete will not be disqualified if their helmet strap unintentionally and temporarily becomes unattached, and the athlete immediately comes to a full stop and reattaches the strap and replaces the helmet while fully stopped.


This is for athletes who have a physical impairment and use a push rim wheelchair. Athletes who use a push rim wheelchair must select the ‘Wheeled Division (push rim)’ option under ‘Event Questions’ within their registration.

  • A racing wheelchair must be used. No other type of wheelchair will be permitted on the course.
  • To be able to use the wheelchair, participants must be able to propel themselves through the course unassisted and unaccompanied.
  • The wheelchair can have 2 large wheels and up to 2 small wheels. The small wheels must be at the front of the wheelchair.
  • No part of the main body of the wheelchair may extend forward beyond the hub of the front wheel and be wider than the inside of the hubs of the two rear wheels. The maximum height from the ground of the main body of the wheelchair shall be 50 cm. No part of the wheelchair may protrude behind the vertical plane of the back edge of the rear tires.
  • The maximum diameter of the large wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 70 cm. The maximum diameter of the small wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 50 cm.
  • Only one plain, round push-rim is allowed for each large wheel. No mechanical gears or levers can propel the wheelchair. Only hand-operated, mechanical steering devices are allowed. The participant must be able to turn the front wheels manually, to both the left and right.
  • The use of fairings or similar devices specifically designed to improve the aerodynamic performance of the participant in the wheelchair are not permitted.



Hand cranks are permitted for those athletes who cannot use a racing wheelchair or run with a prosthesis. Athletes who use a hand crank wheelchair must select the ‘Wheeled Division (hand crank)’ option under ‘Event Questions’ within their registration.

  • A hand crank is either an arm powered (AP), arm-trunk powered (ATP), or kneeling position (HK) three-wheel device with an open frame of tubular construction.
  • Hand crank athletes must maintain the pace of the lead cyclist. At no given time can the hand crank athlete get in front of the lead cyclist on the course.  If this does happen, the hand crank athlete will be disqualified.
  • Any athlete using a hand crank must have an orange visibility flag on a 5’-6’ flexible pole always attached to the hand crank by a bracket. Flags will not be provided by race officials.
  • Hand cranks with motors or pedals, tricycles, and recumbent bikes are not permitted.
  • No additional gear-, foot-, crank-, or chain-powered cycling equipment may be used by athletes.



Assisted wheelchairs/duos teams are compromised of a person with a permanent disability pushed by one able-bodied athlete in a specialized racing wheelchair.

  • Assisted wheelchairs/duos teams are permitted to register for any event. Both athletes must register for the event and start at the back of the corral/group.
  • The abled-bodied athlete must push the person with a permanent disability the entire race distance within the official course time limit.
  • The abled-bodied athlete must maintain contact and control with the wheelchair at all times throughout the race.
  • Only the able-bodied athlete is allowed to propel the wheelchair forward; no outside assistance is permitted.
  • The able-bodied athlete pushing the wheelchair must be tethered to the wheelchair.
  • The person being pushed will not be scored in any division at this time (this may change in the future). The able-bodied athlete will be scored in their age division.

*A complimentary entry will be provided for the duo team rider upon request, prior to registration.

  • Included but not limited to Autism, learning disabilities, speech impediments and other non-apparent disabilities.


Accessible parking is available at all Air Force Marathon events. All registered wheeled athletes will be given a parking pass in their race packet. All athletes, spectators, or volunteers with their own accessible parking placard may park in any marked accessible parking locations. Please see the map on the Directions & Parking page for more info on accessible parking at the National Museum of the United States Air Force for the Saturday events.


The Air Force Marathon allows athletes with disabilities or impairments who require a service animal to complete any event with their service animal. The service animal must be conditioned to complete the required distance.  Only trained service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act may compete with a disabled athlete.


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