26th annual Air Force Marathon to bring economic boost to the area

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The 26th annual Air Force Marathon returns this weekend, which means a big economic boost for the area.

For the first time in three years, around 8,000 runners will take part in the marathon on Saturday. It’s in honor of the 75th birthday of the United States Air Force.

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Nearly 2,400 volunteers will sure make the whole weekend goes as planned.

“Coming back out of having the virtual experiences. We’re really happy with that and very excited to bring that many back here to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” said Rachel Ferguson, Air Force Marathon Race Director.

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From thousands of volunteers, guests and runners this weekend will bring millions of dollars to the Dayton region.

Hotels are booked and restaurants are busy, which means people are spending money, which is a boost that Dayton has needed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of the vendors that come in for this are from out of town so they use the hotels, the restaurants, things along those lines to generate more economic impact,” Ferguson said.

News Center 7 asked a local business about how this annual event is helping they’re revenue.

Executive Chef at Wheat Penny, Liz Valenti, says that the weekend hasn’t even started an they’ve already seen an uptick in customers and reservations.

“It’s still really hard. We are still only open five days a week, we still are really stretched. We’re hiring people for one position, and we’re training them on multiple positions,” Valenti said.

This weekend’s event is expected to bring in anywhere from $8 to $12 million.