New Hampshire Airman Represents in Top Air Force Marathon Team

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing

On Sept. 17, 2022, a cool mist blew through the valleys along the Air Force Half Marathon course at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Tech. Sgt. Chris Ager, a crew chief with the 157th Maintenance Group, watched the sun split through the fog as he rounded his third mile of the race with 10 miles of gruesome hills ahead.

“It was a tough course,” Ager said. “The first mile was up a hill, and the hills were pretty consistent throughout. I had higher expectations for myself but team-wise we did really well.”

The National Guard team placed first in the Air and Space Challenge, beating the Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, and 10 other Air and Space Force Command teams.

Ager finished the half marathon 15th out of 900 runners with a time of one hour and 20 minutes, a pace of 6 minutes per mile for 13.1 miles.

“When we did the time calculation for our team it was 45 minutes faster than previous years of the challenge, so our team was the fastest it’s ever been,” he said.

The National Guard team was comprised of Airmen from Guard units across the country with all different Air Force specialties.

“There were people from the band, medical, another crew chief with A-10s and [logistic readiness squadrons],” he said. “It was cool having a variety of people and careers but all Guard.”

Ager’s senior enlisted leader, Chief Master Sgt. Robert Holt, the senior enlisted advisor for the 157th MXG, compared Ager’s running style to flying.

“I ran the PT test with him and man, talk about a humbling experience,” Holt laughed. “I finished at 11:30 and he lapped me, twice.”

That day Ager broke the mile and a half base record for the second year in a row with a blazing time of seven minutes and 40 seconds.

“Honestly it’s so fun to watch him run,” Holt said. “He is such a smooth runner. He’ll never brag but the guy’s a beast.”

Ager plans to run the Mount Desert Island Marathon in Acadia, Maine this fall and said he was grateful to have this experience beforehand.

“The half marathon was great training to get the milage in and a good way to set expectations for another hilly course,” he said.

“It was nice being part of a team again too,” Ager added. “I was excited to be representing New Hampshire and the Guard. When I wasn’t feeling great, that was my motivation to keep going and put up a good time. It was an awesome race.”