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COLUMBIA CITY â€” The streets of Columbia City will once again play host to the Veterans Marathon, set to take place Saturday, Nov. 10.
This year the race will focus particularly on the U.S. Air Force. Four to five vintage military aircraft will start off the marathon events. The aircraft will meet at the Huntington airport Friday in preparation for the annual event.
The vintage aircraft club has members flying from Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Huntington.
The festivities begin at 7:30 a.m., with honor guards of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marines leading several honor guards in the opening ceremonies. Marching bands will also be playing patriotic music during the opening festivities. The actual marathon and half marathon begins at 8 a.m. with the sounding of the Courthouse bells, historic cannon blast, musket fire and with the roar of the aircraft flying overhead. All together, these historic sounds signal runners to start their Boston qualifying runs. At 8:15 a.m. the 5 K run will start with historic cannon blast, musket fire and with the roar of the aircraft flying overhead.
The aircraft will spend about an hour flying over head and along the course route, before departing for a brief time.
They will return at approximately 10:30 a.m. for a final honor of the veterans. The plans will first come from the west escorting the marathon winner downtown, the aircraft will configure the â€śmissing man, fly over.â€ť
The Veterans Marathon awards are made in Indiana, starting with Indiana Limestone. This year in honor of the U.S. Air Force, marathon planners have chosen the A10 Warthog Fighter Jet symbol as a special honor to the Indiana Air Guard of Fort Wayne.
This will be on the finishing medals and center piece of the limestone winnerâ€™s awards.
Race organizer said, â€śThe event is always looking to draw more spectators, volunteers, and business participation to honor our veterans. Several aide stations along the course have embraced the race, by providing not only aide and safety, but a party atmosphere to encourage the runners.â€ť
This year there will be an additional station called a â€ślipstick stationâ€ť right before the finish line. On the marathon side, there will be a small sample beer station.
For more information on the race, visit www.veteransmarathon.com.