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February 21st 2017 | Written By Press Release | Share

Gerald R. Ford International Airport to Host Runway 5K

Gerald R. Ford International Airport to Host Runway 5K

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Lace up your sneakers and get ready for a prime course for a fall 5K – on one of the runways at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA).

The Runway 5K is slated for the morning of Saturday, October 7, 2017 on airport grounds. The race will begin near the cargo facilities, under a runway tunnel, loop around by the airport fire station, and wrap around on Runway 8L/26R – GFIA’s general aviation runway. The Airport’s two other commercial aviation runways will still be operational.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for runners, walkers, and families who want to come out for a Saturday morning stroll or a competitive race, and to experience a fun event on a runway that is normally only being used for aircraft,” said GFIA President & CEO Jim Gill. “We are giving West Michigan a chance to experience our facility like never before. This event will not only encourage family time, but it is promoting a healthy lifestyle and aviation as well as benefitting a wonderful local charity.”

GFIA is hosting the event for a small registration fee, but the Airport has selected Make-A-Wish Michigan as its charity of choice to donate the proceeds.

"We're delighted that the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is hosting an event to benefit MakeA-Wish Michigan." said Karen Davis, president & CEO of Make-A-Wish Michigan. "It's through the generous support of our Michigan community, like our friends at GFIA, that we are able to grant life-changing wishes to Michigan children and bring hope, strength and joy at a time when they need it most."

“Make-A-Wish Michigan does tremendous work in our community, and we are thrilled to be able to donate proceeds from our Runway 5K to this organization,” said Gill. “We see Make-A-Wish kids in our airport on a regular basis, and although we wish that was less frequent; we are happy to help grant more wishes in West Michigan through this donation.”

Registration for the race is $28/person and includes a t-shirt, post-race snacks/beverages, awards for top finishers, and other giveaways. For those wanting to participate in a one-mile fun run/walk, the fee is $15/person. Participants can register at: 

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The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The airport served over 2.6 million passengers in 2016 and over 7,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 24 major market destinations with more than 120 daily nonstop flights, and the Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. GFIA generates over $3.1 billion in annual economic output throughout West Michigan, and employs over 1,500 people. For more information on GFIA visit: or follow the airport on Twitter: @FlyGRFord

Make-A-Wish® Michigan grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Since 1984, Make-A-Wish Michigan has granted more than 8,500 wishes. This year, the organization expects to grant wishes to more than 450 Michigan children. Based in Brighton, Mich., with an office in Grand Rapids, Make-A-Wish Michigan is funded through community support. 80 percent of each dollar spent benefits the Michigan wish-granting program. Visit to learn more

Topics: Press Release, Events