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CAFB Airmen top Marine Corps Marathon

U.S. Air Force photo

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COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Two BLAZE Team members ranked in the top ten out of more than 34,000 participants in the Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 29, in Arlington, Va.

Ben Payne, 41st Flying Training Squadron, and Jake Johnson, 48th Flying Training Squadron, placed first and second respectively for all active-duty personnel that participated in the marathon.

Payne, with a time of 2:28:06, took sixth place overall in the race, while Johnson, with a time of 2:31:07, took ninth place. Payne said that he had not planned on participating in a marathon until he was much older. 

"When the Air Force team asked me to come on the team to be competitive against the other services, I decided it was time to try it," Payne said. Johnson competed in another marathon in 2002. In that marathon he placed 96 out of 30,000 participants.

In order to prepare for the 26.2-mile race, Johnson and Payne put a tremendous amount of work in. But since running is a hobby for both, strenuous training seemed a breeze. Their daily workouts consisted of long runs, which sometimes totaled 80 miles a week. Once they decided to run in the Marine Corps Marathon, they started to train together to be better prepared. The two also participated in the Air Force Marathon in order to prepare themselves for this up coming marathon.