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Chief AF Marathon doctor to give running clinics at March

  • Published
  • By Megan Just
  • 452nd AMW Public Affairs
The chief medical consultant for the Air Force Marathon is conducting two running clinics here June 12 as part of a March team fitness event.

Dr. Mark Cucuzzela, an Air Force Reserve flight surgeon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, family physician and associate professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine, is a veteran of more than 60 marathons and ultra-marathons.

He is bringing his running expertise to March to assist the base with its "March Fitness and Inspiration Through Teamwork" event. More than 130 Team March runners plan on participating in the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson AFB in September.

The free clinics, from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., will be held at the Hap Arnold Club Conference Center and the running track and are open to anyone with access to March ARB. Runners of all abilities may attend and membership on March's Air Force Marathon team or March FITT is not required.

March FITT co-founders Capt. Linda Baltes, 752nd Medical Squadron, and Lt. Col. Kris Kraiger, Fourth Air Force, met Dr. Cucuzzella during a conference call in February.

"We shared the vision and strategic goals of March FITT with him and he offered to be a part of what we were doing," Captain Baltes said. "In preparation for the Air Force Marathon, we were already planning to have a running clinic this spring, so we invited him to be the one to lead it."

"It's very rare to have someone of this caliber come to the base. It's a huge honor and an amazing opportunity," said Captain Baltes. "Whether it's your 100th marathon or your first 5K, everyone can get better."

Dr. Cucazzella's clinics will also benefit Airmen whose running goal is to simply pass or improve their Fit-to-Fight 1.5-mile run.

"If you're in the Air Force, you have to run. Let us help you learn how to do it properly," Captain Baltes said.

At the running clinics, Dr. Cucuzzella will be covering general running principles, including injury-free running, training principles and efficient running. At the track, he will be leading drills and practical training, so participants should come dressed to run.