After a pandemic pause, the popular Runway 5K will return to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport on Saturday, Sept. 25.
Registration has already begun for this unique race, which is capped at 1,200 participants and gives walkers and runners the rare opportunity to compete on an actual airport runway. The course will begin north of the economy parking lot, looping on taxiway Juliet and runway 8L/26R, the Airport’s general aviation runway, before ending back at the parking lot.
Race-day registration and packet pick-up begins at 7 a.m., with the race starting at 9 a.m. A one-mile fun run will begin at 9:05 a.m. Awards for the top three overall males and females, as well as age groups, will be presented at 10:15 a.m.
The race is being hosted by Trivium Racing, with this year’s charity partner being the Family Hope Foundation. The Jenison nonprofit provides resources, activities, support and funding for therapies to families of children with special needs in West Michigan.
“We are delighted to welcome West Michigan back to the Airport for this year’s Runway 5K,” said Torrance A. Richardson, president and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. “While COVID forced the cancellation of last year’s race, we are back better than ever this fall – and looking forward to seeing our friends and neighbors for this race.
“We are also honored to support the good work of Family Hope Foundation, which provides therapy scholarships, family fun, advocacy, education and resources to families of children with special needs. We encourage runners and walkers of all abilities to come out and see the Airport from a perspective you will only get once a year.”
Registration for the 5K begins at $39, with prices increasing after July 31 and until the event is sold out. Registration for the one-mile fun run begins at $25, with prices increasing after July 31. Registration includes a T-shirt, post-race snacks and beverages, awards for top finishers and other giveaways.
In 2019, the Runway 5K raised nearly $14,600 for charity.
“The true impact of 2020 is beginning to come to light,” said Jane Eppard, executive director of the Family Hope Foundation. “Many children with special needs lost ground due to disruptions in school and routine in the past year. This was clearly evident in the 25% increase in scholarship requests we received this spring.
“We begin accepting applications for our fall scholarship cycle Aug. 1. The opportunity to be the charity partner for this year’s Runway 5K and the support it will bring to families in our community is deeply appreciated and gives the organization hope.”
The Ford Airport’s two commercial aviation runways will still be operational during the race.